According to figures compiled by EDANA, the overall production of nonwovens in Europe grew by 2.5% in volume in 2016 to 2,378,700 tons, despite an uncertain economic climate.
While the production growth in the EU outperformed Greater Europe overall, some countries demonstrated impressive development.
Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director, says, “Germany, Italy and Spain all witnessed growth, with Spain’s particularly impressive at 5%, while recent star performer Turkey remained stable, more than compensating for the minor decline recorded in some other European markets.”
Divergent trends were also observed between the various production processes of nonwovens. The production of fiber-based materials drylaid and short-fiber airlaid technologies for example recorded an increase of 2.2% and 2.9% respectively, while wetlaid remained relatively stable. Spunmelt nonwovens recorded a growth rate of 3.3%, reaching a production total of 1 million tons for the very first time. The highest growth rate was observed in materials produced via the air-through bonding process, with a 13.1% increase.
Although the primary main end-use for nonwovens continues to be the hygiene market, with a 30.7% share of deliveries (by weight), significant growth areas for nonwovens were recorded in other sectors; agriculture and garments (both recording double digit growth), air filtration (up 3.2%), construction (up 4.5%) and food and beverage (up 4.2%). Countering this, a minor decline of 1% was recorded in the automotive industry. The medical and personal care wipes sectors both remained stable with a very slight fall of 0.4%.