Domestic and Imported Nonwovens
Despite nonwovens demand continuing to increase in Japan, the use of domestic nonwovens remains flat while usage of imported nonwovens has been growing. The imported nonwovens ratio in domestic demand has risen each year, accounting for 36.8% of share in 2014. During the period from January to August 2015, it grew nearly 40%. Domestic demand increased by about 100,000 tons during the past nine years, however, most of the increases were imported nonwovens. The strong demand for nonwovens is not beneficial for Japan’s nonwovens makers.
The most rapidly increasing imported nonwovens are polypropylene spunbond nonwovens and rayon spunlaced nonwovens. The demand for polypropylene spunbond nonwovens has increased due to the expansion of diaper production. Demand for ayon spunlaced nonwovens has increased in wet wipes and face masks. As the demand in these applications is expected to increase in the foreseeable future, the increase of imported nonwovens will continue in the next two to three years. n