So, what are the reasons behind the growth and is it something we can expect to continue beyond the 2020 estimation?
- The world is getting wealthier. According to the World Wealth Report, which tracks High Net Worth Individuals (HNWIs), HNWI growth was 4% in 2015. The Asia-Pacific region overtook the United States in 2015 with double-digit growth in Japan and China. Why does wealth matter to the nonwovens market? Much of the nonwoven market is composed of disposable products. When people have more income, they tend to spend that income on “luxury” items, including many nonwoven products.
- Raw materials costs are decreasing. Petroleum, an important component of many raw materials such as polyester and polypropylene, is continuing to decline in cost and is now at a much lower price than it has been for years.
- The global population is increasing. In 2015, according to the World Bank data, the world population was estimated to be 7.347 billion people. In 2003, it was estimated to be 6.354 billion people. That’s the addition of 1 billion people in only 12 years. With the increased numbers of people, it is only logical to assume that the demand for nonwoven products like hygiene products, medical supplies, automobiles and infrastructure products like geotextiles will continue to rise. 1% of the population is under 14 years old, which means that the demand for nonwoven diaper products will remain high.
- The population is also aging. While the vast majority of the population is between 15 and 64 years of age, 27% was over 65. This has an impact on adult incontinence products as well as the demand for medical nonwoven products. Additionally, our lifespan is also increasing. According to the U.S. Social Security Administration, about one in four Americans who are 65 today will live past the age of 90. One in 10 will live to be older than 95.
- Several large countries are building infrastructure. India and China are expanding at a rapid rate with nonwoven product needs in construction and geotextiles.
It’s a great time to be involved nonwoven product production. Like never before, innovation and investment are critical as the market continues to expand. The future is bright for nonwovens.