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In a recent report published by David Rigby Associates (DRA) the world market for technical textiles and industrial nonwovens is estimated to have been 16.7mn. tonnes in 2000 which is almost 50% greater than the 11.3mn. tonnes forecast in DRA’s 1997 report on the same market.
This is the result of more technical textile products being included, particularly in agricultural, building, clothing and sports-related applications, the recognition of more jute products and an improved understanding of the market situation in China.
The report forecasts that the world market for technical textiles and industrial nonwovens will increase by 3.5% per year in volume terms to reach 23.8 mn. tonnes with a value of $126 bn. by 2010. However, growth between 2000 and 2002 is estimated at only 2.1% due to world economic conditions.
The largest application areas by value are transport, industrial and sports-related products. The fastest growing sectors up to 2004 are building/construction, geotextiles, medical/hygiene and products used in industry.
By 2010, man-made fibres will have increased their share of usage in the sector from 77% to 81%. The main loser will be cotton. The use of woodpulp will grow strongly from a low base.
Up to 2010, nonwovens will increase their share of fabric usage by weight from 31% to 39% largely at the expense of woven fabrics, whose share will decrease from 60% to 53%. There will be a stronger than average growth in loose fibre applications including fibrefill, while twisted products such as ropes, braids and nets will grow more slowly overall.
Market growth will be strongest in Asia, which will account for 45% of the market by weight in 2010 compared with 23% for Europe and 29% for the Americas.
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