2016 Nonwovens Sales: $93 million
Tetsuya Yoshimura, general manager, nonwoven fabrics division; Naoki Yamane, general manager, spunbond fabrics sales
Okazaki, Japan; Tarui, Japan
Marix, Eleves, Appeal, Wiwi, Alcima, Dilla, Terramac, Cottoace.
Agricultural materials, carpet backings, geotextiles, cable wraps, wipes, storing bags, coverstock, roofing sheets
Unitika produces 20,000 tons/year of PET spunbond nonwovens and 4500 tons/year of spunlace nonwovens. Thai TUSCO, a subsidiary of Unitika, now makes 10,000 tons of PET spunbond nonwovens per year after the company expanded capacity by 6000 tons in April 2017. This investment brought the company’s total PET spunbond capacity to 30,000 tons per year, giving Unitika a top position in the Asian polyester spunbond market.
UMCT, a joint corporation with Marusan Industry (Marusan Industry 65%, Unitika 35%), produces 5000 tons of spunlace per year.
Within PET spunbond nonwovens, industrial materials sales have increased while sales in automotives, agriculture and geotextiles remained flat. Spunlaced nonwovens sales increased thanks to increased face mask sales.
Unitika’s spunlace nonwovens business fared well in 2016 but spunbond sales were sluggish, remaining flat. Meanwhile, sales of TUSCO in Thailand performed well thanks to demand for carpet fabrics in the automotives market. Currently, 70% of TUSCO’s PET spunbond material is exported, mainly to the U.S. and Europe.
Meanwhile, spunlace nonwovens sales are increasing in the skin care market and Unitika’s capacity in this segment is fully sold out. The company is planning to increase capacity in UMCT, which should also help it drive up sales in China and Southeast Asia, bringing its exports from 10 to 20%.