Global airlaid nonwovens market projected to grow to $2 billion by 2020

The global airlaid nonwovens market was valued at $1.5 billion in 2014 and growth is forecast at just under $2 billion by 2020.

The global airlaid nonwovens market is currently valued at $1.64 billion and is predicted to grow at an annual growth rate of 4.0% to $2 billion by 2020, according to a new market study by Smithers Apex.

Demand for airlaid nonwovens is strong as key markets like adult incontinence, feminine hygiene, wipes and food pads are all growing globally. The consumer desire for thinner, more discreet and comfortable feminine hygiene and adult incontinence pads, and even baby diapers, matches the strength and properties of airlaid nonwovens.

FIGURE E.2 Airlaid nonwoven market segmentation by end use, 2015 (by tonnes)

Source: Smithers Apex

A new study from Smithers Apex – The Future of Airlaid Nonwovens to 2020, shows that there are significant differences in the major regional markets for airlaid nonwovens. North America has the tightest supply of airlaid, with utilization at almost 95%. It is the home of the two largest airlaid producers, and the largest airlaid raw material suppliers.  North America is already importing some material from Europe, and will have major supply issues if new capacity is not added by 2020.

Europe has the highest available airlaid supply today, with utilization at "only" 87.5%.  This includes exports to the US and other regions.  Europe is home to the major airlaid equipment suppliers, Dan Web and Oerlikon Neumag and is the largest market for feminine hygiene for airlaid, as well as table top and food pad grades.

'Need for expansion'

Asia is a mixed market for airlaid nonwovens.  There are older lines in Japan, China and Taiwan which are small and relatively slow, but meet local needs.  Utilization today is about 90%, with hygiene being the largest end use. There is a real need for airlaid expansion in Asia, which is the fastest growing major region at 8.0% annual growth for 2015-2020.

Airlaid nonwovens have unique advantages among processes and products, and tremendous potential with current fast growing end uses and the future needs for sustainable, non-petroleum based products. Its modest projected growth rate for 2015-2020 of 5.0% is more a function of supply and regional economic issues than demand or capability issues.  Airlaid nonwovens need and should see significant expansion in capacity over the next ten years - some before 2020 - which will be matched by equally significant increases in demand over the same time period.

Based on extensive primary research - The Future of Airlaid Nonwovens to 2020 looks at the key trends in the airlaid nonwovens market and examines the main drivers for growth in this sector. Supply and demand is also examined as well as detailed profiling of 43 producers with 81 commercial lines.          

The Future of Airlaid Nonwovens to 2020 is available now for £4,200. For more information, please contact Stephen Hill at +44 (0) 1372 802025, or via e-mail, or visit