Polypropylene nonwoven fabric has been increasingly gaining acceptance and importance in the recent past owing to its superior quality over other nonwoven fabric mainly for manufacturing hygiene products. Polypropylene (fiber and polymer) is the leading raw material used for manufacturing nonwoven fabric in the world. Increasing birth rate, mainly in Asia Pacific, has given rise to consumer disposable products such as baby diapers in the region. This surge in demand for consumer disposable products is expected to remain a key driving factor for the global market. PP Nonwoven Fabrics have been gaining market penetration for durable applications in geotextile, automotive and construction industries mainly in countries such as China and India. In addition, growing ageing population mainly in the U.S., Western Europe, and Japan has spurred demand for adult incontinence products which further is expected to boost the demand for PP Nonwoven Fabrics over the next six years. However, volatility in raw material prices coupled with stringent regulation imposed on producers on account of growing environmental concerns regarding the production and usage of PP Nonwoven Fabric is expected to remain a key challenge for the industry. Polypropylene is one of the primary petrochemical used for a variety of applications across numerous end-use industries and is obtained via crude oil. In order to overcome these challenges, the industry has shifted its focus towards developing bio-based polypropylene which is expected to serve as a major opportunity for market participants over the next six years.
Spunbonded PP nonwoven fabrics emerged as the leading product segment in the global market and accounted for 47.4% of total volume consumed in 2013. Spunbonded PP fabric along with being the largest product segment is also expected to be the fastest growing product segment at an estimated CAGR of 8.3% from 2014 to 2020, owing to their wide usage for manufacturing baby and adult diapers, feminine care and medical products including protective apparel. In addition, they are also used for durable application including agriculture, construction, coating substrates and battery separators. On the other hand, the global market for PP nonwoven composites is expected to reach USD 1,865.5 million by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 7% from 2014 to 2020.
Global PP Nonwoven Fabric Market Volume, by Product, 2013
On a broad level, PP nonwoven fabric applications can be classified into disposable and durable applications. However, for the purpose of this study, application markets considered include hygiene, industrial, medical, geotextiles, furniture, carpet, and agriculture among others. Hygiene emerged as the leading application for PP nonwoven fabrics and accounted for 50.7% of total market volume in 2013. Hygiene applications mainly include baby/adult diapers, feminine disposable products, wipes, etc. Hygiene is expected to lose out market share in terms of volume over the next six years to other durable applications. The global PP nonwoven fabrics market for medical applications is expected to reach USD 3,447.1 million by 2020, growing at an estimated CAGR of 8.2% from 2014 to 2020.
Asia Pacific continued its dominance in the global PP nonwoven fabric market and accounted for 40.6% of total volume consumed in 2013. The Middle East, on the other hand, is a relatively small market is expected to be the most attractive market for PP nonwoven fabrics over the next six years. Middle East is expected to grow at an estimated CAGR of 10.3% from 2014 to 2020. North America and Western Europe are mature markets hence are expected to grow at a relatively lower growth rates over the forecast period.
The global PP Nonwoven Fabric market is highly fragmented with top five participants accounting for just over 40% of total production in 2013. Large companies have been acquiring smaller companies in the quest to minimize competition and increase market share. Some of the leading companies operating in the global market include AVGOL, Fibertex, Fiberweb, Kimberly-Clark, PGI, First Quality, Mitsui and Toray among some other companies.
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