Nonwovens Industry magazine recently interviewed Brad Kalil, director of market research and statistics at INDA, to discuss the North American Nonwovens Supply Report released earlier in 2015.
In addition to providing economy and demographic trends along with comparative consumption figures from 2008 and 2013, the report also provides a forecast for what to expect in 2018. The report was designed to help those of us in the industry, from raw materials providers to machine manufacturers to converters and brand owners, make better business decisions.
Based on the report figures, Kalil stated in the interview that the North American market is still strong and steady. Since 1994, nonwovens capacity in North America has increased, on average, 5.5% each year. This is good news for those of us in the industry. It points to overall growth even during some fairly significant economic downturns. Even though growth was definitely slower during the 2008-2013 time period, the industry as a whole has quadrupled in size in North America since 1994.
The report indicates that the fastest growing segments of the market are wipes in the disposables category and transportation products in the durables category. The building construction category is currently expanding and new government regulations are driving growth in the geosynthetic materials market.
With changes in healthcare practices (e.g., fewer invasive surgeries, more outpatient care), the medical nonwovens markets isn’t expected to decline but the growth rate is anticipated to be slower than previously expected.
The big surprise of the report, according to Kalil, is that nonwovens are, indeed, everywhere. New markets are emerging at a regular clip. Innovation in the industry is driving significant growth and new end-use markets to help the industry gain share from other markets.
It’s a great time to be in nonwovens!