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Chinese nonwovens production figures released.

According to the latest statistic data released from CNTA (China Nonwovens Technical Association) and CNIC (China Nonwovens Information Center), the production of nonwovens in China was 755,000 tons in 2004 compared with 615,000 tons in 2003. It has increased 13.1%, higher than the growth rate of China's economy last year (9.5%).

In 2004, spunmelt and spunlaced nonwovens technologies were the fastest growth nonwovens sectors in China. Spunmelt nonwovens production has increased 13.2% from 2003 to 2004, while spunlaced nonwovens production has increased as much as 16%. This was caused by the onset of SARS during the first half of 2003, which led to demand for spunmelt and spunlaced nonwovens from China's medical, healthcare and hygiene markets.

In just one year, more than 50 spunbond nonwovens production lines were put into production. While most of them are domestically made polypropylene-based spunbond nonwovens production lines, several imported polypropylene-based spunbond nonwovens production lines were also reported. In 2004, two imported SMS nonwovens production lines were installed and put into production, but one of them, imported from STP Italy, is not yet in working order to produce SMS nonwovens. Of the 324,000 tons of spunmelt nonwovens produced in China, the largest increase was seen in spunbonded nonwovens production, while meltblown nonwovens production had no obvious increase in 2004.

The percentage of nonwovens made using spunmelt technology in China was already 42.9%, higher than in other Asian countries such as Japan, Korea and Taiwan. Spunmelt's dominance can be attributed to heightened demand for spunbonded nonwovens, which is being fueled by case and packaging materials, furniture fabrics and automotive interiors.

The expansion of spunlaced nonwovens production is being spurred by the needs of the domestic market as well as increased manufacturing ability of domestic nonwovens equipment manufacturers.

The proportion of spunmelt nonwovens production versus total nonwovens production in China in 2004 is approaching the level of advanced countries in Europe and America. The proportion of drylaid nonwovens production in 2004 has decreased to 51.1% while airlaid nonwovens' share remained 5%. Although wetlaid nonwovens production increased, its proportion slightly dropped, from 0.98% in 2003 to 0.93%.

Among drylaid nonwovens production, the production of needlepunched nonwovens still had a much higher growth rate. It has increased 19,000 tons, about 12.6% from 2003 to 2004. Most of this increase is from the rapid development of the production of PVC--and PU-coated substrates in China in recent years. More and more needlepunched or spunlaced nonwoven substrates are replacing woven or knitted artificial leather substrates. Other increases stem from the demand for geotextiles used for the large-scale infrastructure projects in recent years in China.

Thermal bonded nonwovens production in 2004 increased slightly due to more demand for stiff thermal bonded nonwovens to replace foam.

Stitchbonding processing has a long history in China and its research and development started as early as the 1960s. But its development is slow. Its growth stems from the rapid development of China's shoe-making industry. In 2004, the number of stitchbonded nonwovens machines exceeded 100. The products are not only used in the shoe making industry but also in interlining and furniture applications.

Chemical bonded nonwovens have decreased in both size and proportion. This is due to declining demand for this technology and competition from other types of nonwovens.

End uses for nonwovens produced in China can be broken down to about 70% durable and approximately 30% disposable or short-term use.

In 2004, domestic demand reached a peak for the entire Chinese nonwovens market with a small portion representing imports and exports. Furthermore, the unit price of nonwovens imported to China is always higher than materials exported from the country. This indicates that the development of China's nonwovens industry mostly relies on the impetus of the domestic market, which is greatly different from exports from China's textile and garment industries.

According to industry predictions, demand for nonwovens in China is forecast to reach 1.2-1.5 million tons within the next five to 10 years. Therefore, the development of China's nonwovens industry will further spur cooperation and communication with fellow producers in Europe, America and Japan. More than half of the existing 2000 nonwovens production lines will be rebuilt and replaced in succession in the next several years.

CNTA and CNIC together will monitor these rapid changes in the Chinese nonwovens industry during the next decade. Already, these associations have been responsible for promoting SINCE (Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition and Conference), which has been held ten times since 1986. This event has promoted the development of the China nonwovens industry and the cooperation and exchange between foreign and Chinese nonwovens companies, according to organizers.

SINCE 2005 (The 11th Shanghai International Nonwovens Exhibition and Conference) will be held September 26-28, 2005 in Shanghai, China.
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Title Annotation:Nonwoven News
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:9CHIN
Date:Sep 1, 2005
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