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Report on nonwoven production in 2011

Industry News, Markets | November 1, 2012 | By:

EDANA’s annual statistics on nonwovens; University of Washington opens U.S. Census Bureau Research Data Center.

EDANA, the international association serving the nonwovens and related industries, has released a public summary of its annual statistics on “Nonwovens Production and Deliveries” for 2011. The report shows a growth in production volume for 2011 of 5.7 percent, with several market segments recording their best output ever in both tonnage and square meters, including baby diapers, medical, personal care wipes, civil engineering, automotive and agriculture.

Total deliveries reached 1,897,748 tons and 55,740 million square meters in 2011. In global terms, the production of greater Europe represented approximately 25 percent. The 2011 expansion, although at a slower pace than the increase of 10.9 percent observed in 2010, has continued the positive growth of the industry, after the hiccough of the recovery year of the economic crisis.

Additional positive signs were also recognized. Jacques Prigneaux, EDANA’s market analysis and economic affairs director, stated that “Each production process obviously has its own specific trends depending on the evolution of the market segments. Spunmelt production recorded two successive growths of more than 9 percent in 2010 and 2011. Within the fiber-based products, while thermo-bonded nonwoven production has been quite flat over the last two years, spunlace production recovered the most, and was by far the most important drylaid output.”

Even if trade flows in and out of the European Union are still limited compared to local production, the exports of nonwovens to the rest of the world have never been as high as the current period for both volume and value. Last year, imports into the region from China increased by 24 percent and China became the EU’s most important supplier, but for each sub-category of nonwovens, the EU-27 remained a net exporter of products.

Compiling the data

The EDANA nonwovens database and statistical methodology, which is more than 30 years-old, is the largest of its kind in the world, based on an exhaustive annual survey with direct input from nonwoven producers.

With all significant players from greater Europe and a large number of companies already participating from the Middle East and Africa in a parallel system (with data presented in February 2012 at the 3rd EDANA MENA Nonwovens Symposium), approximately 100 major nonwoven producers are directly involved, representing more than 85 percent of the production in both regions. The remainder of the market is covered by qualified estimates for an equivalent number of generally much smaller players.

EDANA’s leadership in this area is based on a multi-dimensional expert system with internal consistency checks, based on verified reports of the consumption of raw materials, production of roll goods by process, and deliveries both by process and end uses. The full report and detailed data for the “2011 European Nonwovens Production and Deliveries,” an exclusive EDANA membership benefit, is available for purchase on the EDANA website.

New Census Research Data Center

Officials from the U.S. Census Bureau and the University of Washington have announced the opening of a new Census Research Data Center (RDC) within the University of Washington (UW) College of Arts and Sciences. As one of only 15 RDCs in the country, the UW facility will provide qualified researchers access to extensive Census Bureau data, including demographic, economic, public health and household surveys, and may accelerate critical research and discoveries.

Center director Mark Ellis believes the research data center will offer unmatched opportunities to generate a wide perspective on America’s social landscape, expand the collaboration between the U.S. Census Bureau, local universities and academic researchers, and train a new generation of quantitative social scientists. “The Census Bureau runs a whole host of surveys—there are population surveys, but also surveys about housing, manufacturing, service jobs…a whole host of things designed to take the pulse of American society and American activity.”

Previously, Pacific Northwest-based researchers in the fields of business, economics, geography, health services, population, public policy and sociology had to travel 800 miles to the nearest RDC at UC Berkeley. The Northwest Regional Data Center is funded by the Washington State Office of Financial Management, the UW College of Arts and Sciences, the UW Provost’s Office, the UW School of Social Work and a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation.

Other cities with research data centers include Boston, Mass.; Berkeley, Calif.; Los Angeles, Calif.; Washington, D.C.; Chicago, Ill.; Ann Arbor, Mich.; New York, N.Y.; Ithaca, N.Y.; Durham, N.C.; and Minneapolis, Minn.

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