Manufactured Textile Fibers- The Global Trends
For centuries, natural fibers had been the preference for the textile manufacturers due to their comfortability and easy accessibility. However, natural fibers are continually being replaced by the cheaper, better performing man-made fibers in most of the market applications. Keeping this fact in view, the reports regarding the manufactured fibers are indicating a high growth for these synthetic fibers
in the coming years.
Global Manufactured Fibers Production- The Forecast
The global production of manufactured textile fiber
, both of synthetic and cellulosic, is expected to grow by 5.7 percent per annum through 2012 to over 62 million metric tons. Apart from the growing demand of man-made fibers in comparison to natural fibers, the rising personal income in developed as well as developing countries will contribute this trend of growth. A look at the projected performance of individual fibers is worth mentioning.
The fastest gains will be experienced by specialty synthetic fiber production including spandex, aramid and carbon fibers. Spandex
will particularly remain high as it is finding new application beyond its traditional uses in sportswear and underwear. Its qualities such as those of light weight, softness, stretchability and resistance to deterioration from perspiration, lotions or detergents will continue to be appreciated in the market. Specifically, its blends with cotton and other fibers are being used extensively. With the demands of flame-resistant and other protective clothing rising, aramide fiber will also grow due to its high strength and superior heat-resistance.
Polyester will remain the largest manufactured fibers segment due to its versatility and cost-performance characteristics. Cotton and cellulosic fibers as well as other synthetics such as nylon and acrylic, will continually be replaced by Polyester fibers
The present crisis in global economies and the unpredictable fluctuations in energy prices is affecting the nylon petrochemical value chain significantly. Also, there is a slow growth in global nylon fiber
demand, particularly outside Asia. Apart from this, the lower priced, high quality polyester is giving nylon a stiff competition. In view of all these, nylon will continue to struggle and its growth in the forecast period will be lower than in recent years.
Acrylic Staple Fiber
The demand for acrylic staple fiber
is declining continuously since 2001. In 2006 and 2007, its consumption declined significantly by 9% and 6% respectively. In the next five years too, its demand is expected to have a slower growth. Keeping in view the current market conditions, the consumption of acrylic staple fiber is expected to grow only by 2.3 percent per annum during 2008 and 2013
Regional Production of Manufactured Fibers
The market for fibers, yarns and threads
is very important for the whole textile industry. Of these, fibers market is obviously crucial as the basis for both yarns and threads. Regionally speaking, the Asia-Pacific region, particularly China and India, will continue to be the largest producer of manufactured fibers. This region is also expected to experience the most rapid growth. The greatest share of manufactured fiber production will remain with China. By 2012, China is expected to manufacture over 70 percent of all polyester output. India will also increases its production of manufactured fibers, but its total production levels will remain well below that of China. The European, North American and Japanese manufacturers will continue to face stiff challenges like market maturity, capacity rationalization, competition from imports and business shifting to nations that have lower production costs. Asia is the only place where any meaningful capacity additions are expected to occur.