This year, we welcome two new companies to the report—Zhejiang Kingsafe and Xingtai Nonwovens, which are both based in China. Information on these companies was supplied by Eric Zhang of CNITA. We can expect to see more Chinese influence in this report in the next couple of years.
In addition to new companies, there are a lot of changes among the existing players in this report. DuPont, this year the world’s fifth largest producer, is preparing a merger with chemical giant Dow, a move that will create a powerful force across many industries. And, Ahlstrom, the world’s fourth largest nonwovens producer, merged with Munksjö to form a company focused on fiber-based solutions.
Filtration specialist Lydall continued its focus on expansion through acquisitions of needlepunch manufacturers Texel and Gutsche. These moves not only expands its capacity in this segment, but it opens up the door to new markets for the material.
Like in past years, investment is a major theme of this year’s report. New lines are being planned by many f this year’s companies. Many of these are spunmelt—see Avgol, Fitesa, Berry, Gulsan and Fibertex Personal Care to name a few—but expansions are also being seen in the airlaid market (see Glatfelter), spunlace (see Mogul) and wetlaid (see Suominen). All of this investment must mean manufacturers are optimistic about the future.
And this optimism is not without cause. Markets are constantly being uncovered for nonwovens and existing markets continue to be healthy. Volumes and profits are expected to continue their climb throughout 2017 and beyond.
By The Numbers
The year’s top companies report includes 40 nonwovens producers located around the world. While many of the leading companies are based in established markets like the U.S. and Western Europe, less developed areas are increasing their role in the report. This year, we have two Israeli companies, two Turkish companies and six companies that are based in China/Taiwan. As companies based in emerging markets continue to invest and grow, surely we will see their ranking position climb in future years.
However, even developed markets are receiving attention. Turkey’s Mogul, Fibertex Personal Care and Sandler have all entered the U.S. market looking to better serve their customers in North America.
As is always the case, each company is ranked on the basis of their 2016 sales, which were translated from local currencies into U.S. dollars using the average 2016 exchange rates provided by www.oanda.com. Many economic factors like exchange rates and raw material pricing can skew the ranking so, while ranking companies by sales is necessary for the nature of this report, it is really the activities of these companies, as reported in the profiles, that should be considered. All sales figures were provided by the companies themselves except in some instances, such as Kimberly-Clark, Saudi German Nonwovens, First Quality and Johns Manville, which were estimated based on discussions with several industry sources.
1. Berry Global Inc. $2 billion
2. Freudenberg Performance Materials $1.7 billion
3. Kimberly-Clark $1.3 billion
4. Ahlstrom-Munksjö $1.25 billion
5. DuPont $1 billion
6. Johns Manville $725 million
7. Fitesa $708 million
8. Glatfelter $589 million
9. Suominen Corporation $475 million
10. TWE Group $440 million
11. Low & Bonar $407 million
12. Lydall $400 million
13. Georgia-Pacific $380 million
14. Zhejiang Kingsafe $365 million
15. Jacob Holm $350 million
16. Hollingsworth & Vose $350 million
17. Toray Advanced Materials $341 million
18. Avgol Nonwovens $339 million
19. Sandler Nonwovens
20. First Quality Nonwovens $300 million
21. Fibertex Personal Care $283 million
22. Jofo Nonwovens $247 million
23. Pegas Nonwovens $236 million
24. Nan Liu Enterprise $213 million
25. Mitsui Chemicals $207 million
26. Asahi Kasei $202 million
27. Gulsan Groups $200 million
28. Fibertex Nonwovens $200 million
29. Xingtai Nonwovens $176 million
30. Precision Custom Coatings $175 million
31. Tenowo $171 million
31. Hassan Group $171 million
33. Union Industries $170 million
34. KNH Enterprises $150 million
35. Dalian Ruiguang $143 million
36. Spuntech $138 million
37. Toyobo $125 million
38. Saudi German Nonwovens $125 million
39. Mogul Spunbond Nonwovens $121 million
40. Shalag Shamir $120 million
41. Unitika $93 million