According to its report, the world fiber market size has surpassed the threshold of 100 million tons in both definitions, reaching 101.4 million tons (+1.4%) with cotton use included and 100 million tons (+3.2%) when considering cotton production.
The world fiber market at 101.4 million tons has witnessed a continued slowing of growth in the fourth consecutive year. Manmade fibers grew 2% while natural fibers remained unchanged.
The Fiber Year says the volatility in this business has been tremendous, and tough times for the global economy increasingly raise uncertainty on trade and future market access, as it appears that protectionism may be on its way back.
Volatility and uncertainty may be newly added to the textile-related buzzwords. Both keywords enrich the list of concerns and will not stimulate investments as experience shows.
The current four-year annual slowing in demand is close to tie the historic low in modern textile industry. Five consecutive years with a decelerated growth in consumption have solely taken place during the period 1986 to 1990.
Staple Fibers at 55 Million Tons
The world market of staple fibers has expanded 0.8% to 55 million tons. The sector of natural fibers stagnated at 30 million tons while synthetic fibers expanded 1.4% to 19 million tons. Cellulosic fibers advanced 3.6% to 6 million tons.
The three largest growers and manufacturers, China, India and the United States, accounted for a world share of more than 60%. Their previous year’s performance was completely different.
Increases in China resulted from a 2.8% growth of the output of manmade fibers only while India succeeded to expand natural fibers to a small extent but enlarged manmade fibers by 4.5%. In contrast, growth in the United States was solely driven by cotton. The current season’s harvest is projected to surge 33.7% as result of an enhanced area under cultivation and improved yields.
Nonwovens and Unspun Applications at 16 Million Tons
This segment was upgraded due to upwardly revised volumes for Europe and the Americas and the change in data source to China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA) for the Chinese nonwovens market.
World production of nonwovens and unspun end-uses has increased by 5.5% to 16 million tons with a stronger growth in nonwovens production of 6.9% to reach 13 million tons in 2016.
Manmade Fibers at 71 Million Tons
Manmade fibers have pushed the market following their stunning growth from 14 million tons in 1980 to 71 million tons last year, equal to an average annual growth of 4.6%. Last year’s increase slowed to 2% with synthetics expanding 1.9% to 65 million tons and cellulosics up 3.2% to 6.5 million tons.
Staple fibers have lost their formerly predominant position in the late 1990s. Parity of the both sectors changed in favor of filaments from 1997, currently holding a 65% share.
All fiber types succeeded to expand with the exception of acrylic fibers (-4%) and polyamide enjoyed most dynamics by rising 9% while large-scale polyester just advanced 1%.
China continued to produce an above-average growth rate of 2.6% to arrive at 48 million tons whereas Indian manufacturing succeeded to expand 4.7% to almost 6 million tons. The United States in third place realized a small 0.6% growth to 3 million tons by further shifting toward filaments.