Saturday 12 April 2014

Vision 2014: INDA Report

David Rousse, President of INDA saw the increases in US gas and oil production attracting foreign investment, especially in petrochemical industries.  The result would be high availability of ethylene and propylene and low PP and PE prices.  This would favour spunbond nonwoven production.  Other positive factors would be the increasing importance of “quality of life” issues leading to higher demand for cleaner air and water (filters), convenience products, sustainable goods, and improved healthcare where nonwovens had a role to play in reducing infections in general and from superbugs in particular.

Between 1987 and 2012, US Durable nonwovens had grown at 7.4% p.a., faster than Disposables (3.8%) and now amounted to one-third of the tonnage sold in the USA.  Growth from 2012 through 2017 would be 4.3% for disposables and 6% for durables.  US Production capacity was now 2.1 million tonnes, comprising 0.75 million tonnes of spunlaid and 0.7 million tonnes of dry-laid, the latter being mainly needlepunched/stitchbonded.  Dry laid capacity was now growing at 3.4% p.a. (up from 2.9%) compared with 3.9% for spunlaid (down from 5.3%).

The visible “game changers” were similar to last year’s:
  • ·         China’s relaxation of the 1 child policy would create a demand for diapering for 9.5million extra babies per year.  Demand for cleaner air and water would result in a rapidly growing demand for filtration products. China’s nonwoven capacity exceeds the USA and will pass through 3 million tonnes p.a. in 2017 according to ANFA.  (According to CNITA it reached 3.12 million tonnes in 2012!)
  • ·         The US Patient Protection and Care Act will encourage hospitals to use more disposables to reduce the frequency of hospital acquired infections.  Medical nonwovens amount to 9.4% of the total or 177,000 tonnes in 2012.
  • ·         Fracking  to extract shale gas had reduced US gas prices to a third of the EU’s and a fifth of Asia’s.  The lower ethane and energy costs would increase the competitiveness of US spunbond nonwovens.
  • ·         US Oil production is up 60% since 2008 due to shale oil extraction.  Major refinery investments will be coming on line between 2016 and 2020.
  • ·         The “Boomer Echo” – when the baby-boomers children have children – will increase the US birth rate, despite the fact that the marriage rate is low.  This is no more than a delay in reproducing.  The so-called Millenials (78 million of them) have a more cautious approach to starting a family, but 70% say they want to get married and 74% want to have children.  The Echo should start in a few years from now.
  • ·         The EPA Wiper Rule should result in an 6.1% p.a. growth in industrial wipes, with nonwovens being the main benefactor.  The current US nonwoven market for industrial wipes is 37600 tonnes/a and worth $600million.

No comments: