INDA annual report benchmarks North American nonwoven capacity, production and trade

INDA, the Association of the Nonwovens Fabrics Industry, recently published the third edition of the annual North American Nonwovens Supply Report for its members. The report provides a view of North American supply, including the key metrics of capacity, production and operating rates, in addition to regional trade. The 51-page report offers 12 tables and 25 figures.

“This report is the benchmark for North American capacity, production, and supply information. It brings the clearest view available of the all-important supply/demand balance in the major nonwoven process categories. This is the only report we are aware of that publishes an industry operating rate; an essential element for our members’ strategic planning and business decisions,” said Dave Rousse, INDA President.

The report — and the INDA Quarterly Market Pulse and monthly Price Trends Summary — are provided to the 360-plus INDA member companies and associates as part of their membership.

New findings include:

  • From 1990 to 2015, North American nonwovens capacity has increased an average of 5.4 percent per year, outpacing U.S. real GDP, which grew at 2.4 percent per year over the same period. During this time the industry has more than quadrupled in size, adding over two million tonnes.
  • In 2015, North America’s nonwoven capacity increased to 2.98 million tons, (2.7 percent annual growth compared to the previous year’s growth of 1.2 percent). Suppressed investments due to the Great Recession, (2007 through 2009), subdued capacity growth through the end of 2014, producing a minimal additional 110,000 tons in North America, at an annual increase of 1.3 percent. “It appears accelerated growth in North American nonwoven capacity investments will continue through the next few years,” said Brad Kalil, Director of Market Research and Statistics, INDA.
  • Imports and exports are an important consideration in supply. North America receives imports (294,000 tonnes) comparable to ten percent of the region’s capacity; while exporting 163,000 tonnes. Contrary to industry assumptions, imports from overseas into North America are not substantial, accounting for — on a net/net basis — just 4 percent of the regions nonwoven capacity.

“It is INDA’s objective to continue to provide and improve the quality of data and industry information. I continue to be pleased with the increasing participation of nonwoven producers completing the survey and our ability to identify new or previously unreported nonwovens capacity,” said Kalil.

About INDA

INDA, the Association of the Nonwoven Fabrics Industry, serves hundreds of member companies in the nonwovens/engineered fabrics industry in global commerce. Since 1968, INDA events have helped members connect, learn, innovate, and develop their businesses. INDA educational courses, market data, test methods, consultancy, and issue advocacy help members succeed by providing them the information they need to better plan and execute their business strategies. For more information, visit, or download the INDA mobile app for immediate updates.