Demand for nonwovens is forecast to rise 5.7% per year to $7.1 billion in 2016, benefiting from an acceleration in area demand and an increase in the average price that stems in part from a shift in the product mix toward higher value nonwovens. The market mix will further fuel pricing gains as heavier, more expensive nonwovens are more prevalent in the nondisposables markets, many of which are expected to achieve more rapid gains through 2016 compared to the disposables markets. Renewed economic growth, along with rising manufacturing output and rebounding construction activity, will provide opportunities for nonwovens. Further gains will be limited by the maturity of a number of disposable goods markets for nonwovens, including baby diapers. These and other trends are presented in Nonwovens, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland, OH-based industry market research firm.
Through 2016, the fastest growth for nonwovens will be in the nondisposables markets where demand will accelerate from a reduced 2011 base. Nonwovens demand in most nondisposables markets was sharply impacted by the 2007 to 2009 recession, marked by declines in construction activity and motor vehicle production, and reductions in manufacturing levels of many durable goods. Construction—the largest nondisposables market for nonwovens—will post double-digit gains, fueled by a recovery in building construction, providing opportunities for nonwovens in house wraps, roofing products, and geotextiles. Improved construction spending will also promote nonwovens growth in carpets and rugs, the market which is projected to post the fastest gains, nearly doubling by 2016.
Disposables markets will continue to account for the largest share of sales, representing 68% of nonwovens demand in 2016. Sales will benefit from nonwovens’ high market penetration in disposable consumer products, which accounted for one-third of the total disposables market in 2011. Among disposables markets, the fastest growth is expected for filters, with nonwovens gaining market share at the expense of paper and woven fabrics.