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Fiber sales increase slightly: second quarter shipments total 193 million pounds. (Fibers Quarter).

Shipments of olefin, polyester and rayon to nonwovens in the second quarter of 2002 totaled 193 million pounds, a slight (1%) increase compared to the corresponding quarter of last year but no improvement over the figure for the first quarter of this year.

For the first six months of the year, sales are running 10 million pounds (3%) behind last year. The figures (in millions of pounds) are shown in Table 1.

During the first half of the current year, olefin's share of the market declined to 59%, compared to 61% a year earlier while polyester moved up to 32% and rayon to 9%. Olefin has been increasing its marketshare at polyester's expense for several years now. Whether this drop is a turnaround or a reflection of competitive fiber availability at attractive prices is not quite clear. It seems likely that, in the coming months, olefin will regain lost ground.

If business in the nonwovens segment was no better than so-so, it was weaker in the conventional woven/knit/tufted area of fiber use. Table 2 takes the total domestic shipments of olefin and polyester staple, subtracts the nonwovens uses and then shows the balance shipped to all other markets (called for convenience "Textile")

The large increase in olefin staple sales to textile markets during the first half of the current year is eye catching. It stems from the fact that, in the second quarter, 14 million pounds of olefin staple were reported in the all other category, which usually shows quantities in the 0.5-1.0 million pound range.

With shipments to nonwovens running slightly behind the previous year (which itself was a poor one) and, in light of current slow business in many trades, it is difficult to be more than mildly optimistic about how the final figures for the year will look. A figure of perhaps 720 million pounds seems a likely answer. That would make 2002 a decidedly mediocre year.

Polyester Fiberfill Notes

In terms of total volume, the polyester fiberfill picture so far this year is about the same as nonwovens--first half shipments were 199 million pounds, 2% under the corresponding 2001 results. For the year, shipments may reach somewhere around 410 million pounds, which would be better than last year's 389 million pounds but worse than in several recent years.

Fiber Shipments

 Olefin Polyester Rayon Total

Jan.-June 2002 229 125 32 386
Jan.-June 2001 241 122 33 396
 (mil. pounds) -12 +3 -1 -10
 (%) -5 +2 -3 -3

source: Fiber Economics Bureau


Shipments By Market

 Six months Six months
 2001 2002 Change lbs/%.

Domestic shipments of olefin 351 353 +2/1%
To nonwovens 241 229 -12/-5%
To textile markets 110 124 +14/+13

Domestic shipments of polyester 928 879 -49/-5%
To nonwovens 122 125 +3/+2%
To textile markets 806 754 -52/-6%

Total above
Domestic shipments 1279 1232 -47/-4%
To nonwovens 363 354 -9/-2%
To textile markets 916 878 -38/-4%
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Title Annotation:shipments and market share in first-half 2002
Comment:Fiber sales increase slightly: second quarter shipments total 193 million pounds. (Fibers Quarter).(shipments and market share in first-half 2002)
Author:Harrison, David
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Dec 1, 2002
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