Let's Head East. It's China's Turn To Play Hostess

By Karen McIntyre | April 14, 2009

Like the rest of the world, China's nonwovens industry is facing its share of challenges—rapid changes raw material prices, currency fluctuations and a global economic crisis. The industry was also challenged by declining exports and decreasing corporate profits. Add this up and one might think China's heyday is finally over.

Not so fast.

China's national income continues to improve and a series of government policies have greenlit a number of new projects within the nonwovens industry, driving up production levels and improving technology.

According to a recent survey of the China Nonwovens In­forma­tion Center, nonwovens production in China reached a record 1.3 million tons in 2008, the first time per capita consumption, at 1 kg, exceeded the global average, 0.92 kg. This represented a growth rate of 17%, significantly higher than China's GDP growth of 9% in 2008. Spunmelt was the largest technology in China but all of the main nonwovens technologies are well represented in the country.

This growth is slightly less than the average 20% growth rate the industry achieved between 1978 and 2008 but it is still impressive. (For more on the CNIC report, see page 46.) This month, China is inviting the global nonwovens industry to its country to see where all of this growth is coming from.ANEX09 and SINCE09 will be held May 20-22 in Shanghai, when it is expected to be the largest nonwovens-related trade show ever held on Chinese soil. Featuring a mix of domestic companies and international players, this show can be called China's coming out party to the nonwovens industry, its chance to show the world that it is already a major player when it comes to nonwovens.

Karen McIntyre