Strong growth predicted as uncertainty in the cotton market persists.
Cellulosic fiber production is set to continue growing rapidly in the coming years, according to Issue No 165 of Textile Outlook International from the global business information company Textiles Intelligence.
Faced with soaring raw cotton prices in 2011, many textile and apparel producers switched to manmade fibers or started to use a greater proportion of manmade fibers in blends. Significantly, cellulosic fiber production worldwide rose by a healthy 11.0 percent in 2011, compared with a 3.7 percent rise in global demand for fibers of all types. Furthermore, cellulosic fiber production grew by an even faster 12.0 percent in 2012, while world fiber demand continued to grow by 3.7 percent.
Demand for cotton, on the other hand, fell by 7.0 percent in the 2011/12 season (August 1, 2011-July 31, 2012) and rose by only 2.3 percent in the 2012/13 season. Demand in China alone fell by 3.3 percent as the Chinese government’s policy of supporting domestic cotton prices at levels which are higher than world prices undermined cotton’s competitiveness in the country.
The rise in global cellulosic fiber production in 2012 was due almost wholly to expansion in the manmade fiber industry in China. In percentage terms, Chinese cellulosic fiber output rose by 17.3 percent in 2012 after growing by 19.5 percent in 2011.
Looking ahead, global cellulosic fiber capacity is expected to rise by 13.7 percent in the 21 months between March 2013 and December 2014 while demand for cotton in the 2013/14 season is projected to rise by a much slower 2.1 percent.
More than 85 percent of the increase in global cellulosic fiber capacity between March 2013 and December 2014 will take place in China and India alone. By the end of the 21-month period, Chinese capacity will represent 64.2 percent of the global total, while India will account for 9.9 percent.