According to the report, from 2008 to 2013, 34 high output production lines were commissioned around the world totaling more than 600,000 tons of nameplate capacity. During this period, 19 new producers began using this nonwoven technology worldwide. Between the end of 2013 and 2018, another 385,000 tons of nameplate capacity has already or will be commissioned globally. These lines will serve growing demand in emerging and developed markets, increase the availability of light weight, high strength spunbonded and spunmelt nonwovens and enhance the cost-of-manufacture position of producers. This large increment of capacity will affect regional capacity utilization and challenge the continued operation of early generation technology.
The report provides a detailed forecast and analysis of supply, demand and machine utilization each year from 2013-2018 in each global region, including China, Southern Asia (India) and Africa. It says demand for polypropylene spunbonded nonwovens is growing at attractive rates and will absorb new capacity by 2018 in many regions. Hygiene demand continues to dominate consumption in this technology segment. Demand growth is improving due to increased product and market penetration. Positioning of new plants in India, Northern Africa, China, Asia-Pacific and Indonesia signify demand growth in these locations. Several major factors influence producer profitability around the world, including volatile raw material costs, supply/demand imbalances, increasing use of modern, low-cost technology, emergence of new global and regional producers, shifts in merchant market versus captive demand, producer consolidation and restructuring. Many spunbonded polypropylene producers struggle with profitability, while others are performing well. In some regions, capacity rationalization has occurred as new technology is commissioned. Modern, high output lines have been, and will continue to be, installed which will take share from older, less productive units placing increased pressure on existing producers operating older technology to remain cost-competitive.
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