China is the world's largest producer, exporter and consumer market for nonwoven fabrics, and over the past decade, growth in these three areas has been rapid.
From 2011-15, nonwovens output grew at an average annual growth rate of 11.7 percent, to 4.85 million tons, with the country now occupying 40 percent of global output according to the China Nonwovens & Industrial Textiles Association (CNITA). During this same period, sales of nonwovens in China grew 21.6 percent, while exports increased by 13.9 percent.
Going forward, from 2016-20 Asia is expected to occupy 47.1 percent of global market consumption share. Within Asia, China, India and Japan will account for 77 percent of nonwovens consumption, with China alone predicted to comprise around 57 percent of this consumption.
Much of this consumption growth is expected to come from the implementation of China’s recent 13th Five-Year Plan and impressive One-Belt One-Road initiative, which will give a boost to the utilisation of nonwovens in the country and wider region for environmental protection, healthcare and elderly care, first aid and public safety, and military-civilian integration in particular.
Furthermore, over the past five years the Chinese government has made concerted efforts to reduce industrial pollution in the country, leading to a surge in demand for filtration nonwovens.
New legislative requirements for cleaner air & water and lower carbon-dioxide output are driving growth in the filtration nonwovens industry. In particular, with stricter emissions standards for flue gas and dust, finer filtration materials are in high demand.
Not only are new filters being installed in newly built and existing plants, but these standards require them to be replaced more frequently.
The domestic high-temperature filter materials industry has experienced an average growth rate of 16 percent per annum over the last five years, while bag filter sales are expected to rise 32 percent between 2016 and 2020.