CLEVELAND - The demand for nonwovens in China is expected to increase by 6.9 per cent per year to 4.9 million metric tons in 2022, cementing its position as the world's largest market.
A new report from Freedonia Group, Global Nonwovens, also notes that China as has a large export market for goods that contain nonwovens, so healthy growth in nearby markets (e.g., India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Vietnam) will also support gains in Chinese nonwovens demand.
Therefore, while economic growth has begun to slow to more sustainable levels, it will remain rapid through 2022 and will fuel significant gains in nonwovens demand as the other country's consumer base expands.
China achieved its leading position over the course of the last decade as part of a broader trend of extremely rapid expansion throughout the country's economy.
"Since the beginning of its economic reform in 1978, China's per capita GDP has seen rapid increases for four decades," the report says. "GDP growth brought substantial reduction in poverty levels and transformed China into a global manufacturing leader, including in the production of goods containing nonwoven materials."
So while the Chinese nonwovens market was slightly smaller than the US market in 2007, by 2017 was well over twice as large. Nonwovens demand in China totaled 3.5 million metric tons in 2017, making it the largest national market in the world.
The report also notes that global demand for nonwovens is expected to increase 4.4 per cent per year to 12.2 million metric tons in 2022. The main driver of growth is the continued adoption of nonwovens in place of materials such as speciality papers and woven or knitted textiles – particularly in developing parts of the world, especially in the Asia/Pacific region.