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Melt spun polypropylene: the largest non-woven fabric technology in the world

Date: 2017-02-18
Views: 139

Melt spun polypropylene: the largest non-woven fabric technology in the world

We estimate that at the end of 2016, the global capacity of spunbond / melt spun polypropylene non-woven fabric just exceeded 4 million tons, an increase of about 3.6% over the end of 2015. According to the announced expansion plan, global capacity will increase to nearly 4.2 million tons in 2017, equivalent to an annual growth rate of 3.2% in 2015-2017. Based on the ongoing or announced expansion, we expect global capacity to reach 4.3 million tons in 2020, equivalent to an annual growth rate of about 2% between 2015 and 2020. This capacity expansion rate is 5.3% per year from 2010-2015. Actual global capacity is likely to be slightly higher in 2020, taking into account that current estimates do not include undeclared capacity expansion. Due to the uneven assembly time of the production line, the year-on-year growth may be higher.

Melt spun polypropylene: the largest non-woven fabric technology in the world

Although it is still in the initial stage, the global capacity expansion in 2015-2020 is under way or announced, far behind the tonnage achieved in 2010-2015. During 2010-2015, 1.39 million tons of new capacity were realized, while 415000 tons of new capacity were put into production or announced during 2015-2020. We expect capacity in 2020 to be higher than we currently estimate, but still lag behind in 2010-2020 as later installed capacity continues to be digested.

The selected producers continue to install capacity, modernize their technology, meet changing and growing needs, position themselves in high growth regional markets, and achieve lower cash costs by making full use of new higher output capacity.

By region and based on announced projects, capacity growth in South Asia is expected to exceed 10% per year in 2015-2017, ahead of all other global regions. Capacity growth in South Asia (India / others), Africa and Asia Pacific will be higher than the global average. During this period, capacity growth in Europe is expected to exceed 4% per year, with most of the new capacity achieved in northern Europe. In North America, capacity growth is expected to be about 4% per year, as demand for commodities is growing faster than total demand. After years of rapid expansion, China's new installed capacity is expected to decrease in the near future.

The global demand growth of non-woven fabrics of this technology is expected to increase by about 4.9% in tons and 5.1% in square meters in 2015-2020. The increase in demand for higher square meters is related to the use of lighter weight non-woven fabrics in health end uses, which has led to a decline in demand for tons, although we believe most of the decline is now fully realized. We estimate that global machine capacity utilization will increase slightly in 2016 and will continue to increase to 2020, based on the current forecast for capacity expansion.

Demand in emerging markets with low penetration of disposable and durable nonwovens is expected to grow at a higher rate. In 2015-2020, the growth rate of the total market (in tons) is the highest in Africa, China and South Asia, and the Asia Pacific region. In Europe, North America, South America and Central America, the growth rate is more moderate, and the growth rate in the Middle East is expected to be the lowest.

Demand for spunbond and fusible nonwovens for sanitary end use and other end use markets will drive growth. China's annual demand growth will decline from the previous high growth level, but it is still attractive. In general, the growth in health demand in the Asia Pacific region remains attractive due to the increasing use of spunbond and melt spun polypropylene nonwovens as alternatives to other nonwovens, as well as the increased penetration of disposable health products. Continuous improvement can improve machine utilization, especially among selected manufacturers in Asia and the world. Attractive market growth in the Asia Pacific region and increased capacity utilization in South America and China will attract a new round of investment in production equipment later.



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