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Second quarter staple shipments to nonwovens slightly above previous quarter.

Second Quarter Staple Shipments To Nonwovens Slightly Above Previous Quarter

but they are still 10% under second quarter of 1989; first half of 1990 sales 9% less than a year ago; fiberfill shipments are up slightly in the first half compared with last year Shipments of polyester, olefin and rayon staple to nonwovens producers in the second quarter of last year totaled 132 million pounds, up very slightly from the 130 million pounds sold in the first quarter, but 10% under second quarter 1989 shipments of 147 million pounds.

For the year, shipments are 262 million pounds, 9% less than a year ago. Unless there is an unlikely recovery in the second half, sales to nonwovens in 1990 should total around 505 million pounds, a significant (9%) decline from the record 553 million pounds in 1989. It would be the first time since 1981 that sales to nonwovens have failed to show a year-to-year increase.

Olefin has been staging a minor comeback in the past couple of quarters after losing share to polyester (PET) for several years. In the first half of 1990, olefin sales were 101 million pounds, up eight million pounds, or 9%, from the corresponding months of 1989.

PET still leads in total poundage, but its margin over olefin has shrunk lately. In January-June 1990, shipments to nonwovens aggregated 124 million pounds, down 16 million pounds, or 11%, from 1989. Put another way, at mid-year 1989, PET had 49% of the business compared with 32% for olefin. So far this year, PET has dropped to 47%, while olefin has risen to 39%.

Sales of man-made staple to the nonwovens industry have been growing at a higher rate than sales to the conventional textile markets in the recent past. The most recent data suggest that this happy situation may be coming to an end, at least for the time being.

Sales for the three fibers totaled 1.358 billion pounds in the first half of 1990, down 11% from the 1.522 billion pounds shipped a year earlier. Within that, sales to nonwovens dropped 12% (from 288 down to 252 million), while sales to the conventional markets fell only 10% (from 1.234 to 1.106 billion). Olefin is the only exception; its nonwovens business rose 9%, while sales to the other markets went up only 2%. But in PET, business dropped 19% between the first half of 1989 and 1990, while sales to other markets dropped only 13%.

In rayon staple (where figures are no longer published because of disclosure problems), nonwovens apparently declined by about one-third while sales to other conventional customers held steady.

While polyester shipments to nonwovens were dropping 19%, polyester fiberfill sales remained fairly steady in the first half of 1990. The January-June 1990 figure was 181 million pounds, down 2% from the corresponding 1989 months. Polyester fiberfill sales had weakened badly in the last half of 1989, but have now returned to approximately the levels of a year ago.
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Author:Harrison, David
Publication:Nonwovens Industry
Date:Jan 1, 1991
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