The global natural fibers market size is expected to register high growth over the forecast period of 2018 to 2025. These fibers act as a substitute for synthetic fiber composites and offer superior properties, such as biodegradability and abrasion resistance, which increases their demand in various applications supporting market growth. Increasing concerns regarding the biodegradability of synthetic fibers coupled with growing emphasis on reducing the usage of plastic-based materials in various regions, such as Europe and North America, is also expected to drive the industry. Furthermore, rising product demand in the manufacturing of advanced natural fiber composites used in automotive interiors is expected to fuel the market growth in the coming years.
In addition, increasing demand for high-strength products, such as sisal, ramie, and curaua fibers, is likely to contribute to the market growth. The global market benefits from the abundance of raw materials across the globe. The industry faces intense competition from the synthetic fibers sector due to its high penetration across various end-use industries, such as automotive, textile, and medical. Moreover, the manufacturing and other operational process are energy- and cost-intensive, which increases the cost of the final products. This may have a slightly negative impact on the industry. However, the emergence of advanced technologies for fiber production is expected to lower the overall costs, which is further expected to boost industry growth.
The replacement of glass fibers with high-strength abaca products is likely to exhibit a high growth potential over the forecast period. In addition, growing affinity of the automobile manufacturers towards the use of coir in vehicle interiors is likely to spur market growth opportunities. Protein and cellulose are among the major product types of natural fibers. The cellulose segment includes the information and estimates for flax, jute, hemp, kenaf, sisal, and cotton-based products. The demand for jute fibers is expected to register lucrative growth on account of high demand from the textile products manufacturing industry wherein it is used extensively in curtains mats, rugs, and other household goods.
The protein segment include products, such as mohair, silk, and wool. The demand for silk- and wool-based products is expected to account for a notable share on account of easy availability coupled with high penetration in the textile and medical products manufacturing industries. Medical, automotive, insulation, R&D, and textiles are some of the key application areas for natural fiber industry. The textile industry led the global market on account of widespread product usage in apparels and several household products. The product is extensively used in the automotive industry, primarily in vehicle interiors, as it is lightweight and offers superior aesthetic properties. This is projected to propel the market growth in this segment over the next few years.
Rising focus on fuel-efficiency of the vehicles is also likely to contribute to the market growth in the segment. Geographically, the global industry can be divided into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Central & South America, and Middle East & Africa. The Asia Pacific region is expected to occupy a notable market share, in terms of product consumption, due to the strong presence of key application industries including textile, automotive, and medical. The Europe and North America regions are also expected to register high growth over the next few years. However, the market growth is expected to be limited only by the adoption and penetration rate of the products.
The industry is characterized by the presence of a number of companies, with the majority of them involved in the development of advanced natural fiber products. Some of the major companies in this market include Barnhardt Natural Fibers; BComp Ltd.; Advanced Environment Recycling Technologies, Inc.; The Natural Fiber Company; and UPM Biocomposites. The global industry is highly competitive with low entry barriers coupled with high expansion scope. In addition, rising product demand in various application industries is expected to offer new growth opportunities, which, in turn, is expected to attract large companies.
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