According to EDANA, the leading global association serving the nonwovens and related industries, production of nonwovens in Greater Europe grew by 7.2% in 2020 to reach 3,075,615 tonnes (and 85.9 billion square metres) with a total estimated turnover of 9,555 million euro. The total output of the 27 European Union countries is now over 2.15 million tonnes. This is well above the 4% average growth rate the European industry has been clocking for the last decade.
According to Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s Market Analysis and Economic Affairs Director, “The highest demand for materials intensively used to fight the pandemic impacted the production. Spunmelt and drylaid-hydroentangled nonwovens witnessed two-digit growth rates in both weight and surface area. Thanks to the development in similar applications, the growth in the wetlaid nonwovens was also substantial last year. Airlaid production, with opposite trends in different applications, recorded a flat situation compared to a year before.”
The main end-use for nonwovens remains the hygiene market with a 28% share of deliveries, amounting to 857,940 tonnes, a 9.6% growth in 2020. For obvious reasons, the most significant growth areas for nonwovens in 2020 were observed in medical (+118.0%) and wipes/personal wipes (+22.0%) followed by garments (+32.6 %)”.
In contrast, major declines were noticed in automotive interiors (down 23%), floor coverings, table linen and interlinings. Additionally, several important durable sectors in terms of volumes sold, such as in construction markets and liquid filtration showed limited growth and, in the case ofagricultural applications, negative growth.
“Thanks to a convergence of efforts of the participating companies and of the EDANA staff in the last few years, these results are based on the collection of actual data from an increasing number of companies and not less than 118 companies/plants directly reported their 2020 returns this year. More and more accurate figures will certainly make these statistics ever more relevant for planning and benchmarking purposes within member companies” said Jacques.
Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of EDANA said “Behind those figures we see first and foremost the efforts and labour of thousands of women and men who can be proud of working for companies whose purpose has always been, but is perhaps now recognised better than ever, to contribute to deliver excellence for the well-being and health of fellow citizens.