Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s market analysis and economic affairs director, described the evolution by nonwovens process leading to an overall growth of 2.2% in production volume for 2012, despite an unfavorable macroeconomic context in Europe.
The total deliveries reached the level of 1,954,000 tons and 57,690 million square meters last year. Spunmelt processes accounted for 45%, while the rest was fiber-based materials. Within drylaid, the leading bonding technologies remain spunlace and needlepunch in terms of tonnage produced.
“This is the third year in a row of output growth following the slowdown of 2009,” says Prigneaux. “Nevertheless, the different market segments follow different trends. In nonwovens, drivers are multiple as linked to the numerous and increasing possible applications. Some sectors like construction and automotive are directly impacted by the economic background, while disposable end-uses are less affected. Moreover, within Greater Europe, different major trends have also been observed on a country basis.”
Compared to the situation in 2011, hygiene wipes and automotive segments showed some growth rates higher than 5%, but construction, the second most important sector in volume, recorded a decline of 3%.
Nonwovens trade flows in and out of the European Union are still limited compared to local production. The positive trade balance with the rest of the world increased last year, in both volume and value. A large part of the flow was in spunmelt materials and EU27 maintained a positive trade balance for each sub-category by grammage.
The EDANA nonwovens database and statistical methodology, which is over 30 years-old, and has been refined over the years using the latest IT features, is unique and the largest of its kind in the world, based on an exhaustive annual survey with direct input from nonwoven producers.
With all significant players from Greater Europe and a large number of companies participating already from the Middle East and Africa, more than 100 major nonwoven producers are directly involved, representing over 85% of the production in both regions. The remainder of the market is covered by qualified estimates for an equivalent number of generally much smaller players.
“Our leadership in nonwoven market surveys, with a scope representing well over 30% of the world’s nonwoven production, gives EDANA both an advantage and responsibility for the future provision of global nonwovens statistics,” says Pierre Wiertz, general manager. “We are pleased to cooperate with INDA on a Global Nonwovens Outlook 2012-2017, and during ANEX 12, we have offered our colleagues from ANFA (representing companies from China, Japan, India, Korea, and other countries) to explore a similar collaboration for the future.”
EDANA members, as part of their membership benefit, will receive soon their complimentary copy of the full report and detailed data for the “2012 European Nonwovens Production and Deliveries”.