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News article


EDANA releases nonwovens production and sales statistics for 2006

According to figures released by Edana, production of nonwovens in Europe grew by around 6.5% in 2006 to reach 1,494,000 tonnes.
According to figures released by Edana, the international association serving the nonwovens and related products industries, production of nonwovens in Europe grew by around 6.5% in 2006 to reach 1,494,000 tonnes.  This compares with 1,403,000 tonnes in 2005 when the annual growth was 5%.

According to an estimate, based on the same sample of companies in 2005 and 2006, the average price of nonwovens appears to have increased by almost 3% from €3.33 to €3.43 per kg.   As a result the total turnover of the European nonwovens industry is estimated at around €5,124 million.

Diverging trends are affecting the various bonding processes of drylaid nonwovens.
Pierre Wiertz, General Manager of Edana revealed: “Growth in the hydroentanglement process has still been substantial this year at more than 6% but it is actually the needling process that has recorded the highest apparent growth at 13.8 %.”

Polymer-based (spunmelt) nonwovens, on the other hand, witnessed an impressive growth with over 10% increase in 2006. Airlaid production, compared to figures of 2005, has recorded a slight growth, mostly due to increase in deliveries to the hygiene sector.

The main end-use for nonwovens remains the hygiene market with a 33% share of deliveries, amounting to 497,900 tonnes. This has grown by 5.4% in 2006.

The most significant growth areas for nonwovens in 2006 were garments (14.4 %) – mostly protective clothing – and wipes for personal care (13.8 %), followed by liquid filtration (12.2%) and geotextiles (11.4%), a diversity which perfectly illustrates the on-going growth and innovative uses – both industrial and daily-life – of nonwovens even in a maturing market like Europe.

Polypropylene, either in fibre or granule form, continues to be the most important polymer used in the European nonwovens industry accounting for 766,200 tonnes, 48.4% of the total fibre and polymer chip consumption, but wood pulp has retained the highest growth (12.1%).

In 2006 the positive EU balance of exports and imports of nonwovens roll goods has increased.  EU27 Member States altogether exported 215,554 tonnes of nonwovens (compared to 193,716 tonnes in 2005) at a value of almost €928 million, which represents a 11.3% increase in volume and 14.4% in value compared to the previous year.

Moreover the positive balance of trade in nonwovens (almost €0.4 billion) contributed, by more than 30%, to the trade surplus of the EU textiles sector.

Although detailed data of the “2006 European Nonwovens Production and Deliveries” is only available to Edana member companies, a summary will be available shortly on the Edana website,

Photos of nonwovens applications are available at EDANA upon request.

For further information, please contact:
Catherine Lennon, Communications Director, Edana
Jacques Prigneaux, Business Analyst, Edana
Telephone: +32 2 734 93 10 / Fax: +32 2 733 35 18
E-mail: /
EDANA | Avenue Herrmann Debroux 46-B-1160 Brussels, Belgium | Tel: +32 2 734 93 10