Market growth for medical nonwovens spikes as COVID-19 impacts demand

Market growth for medical nonwovens spikes as COVID-19 impacts demand

The presence of COVID-19 has increased the importance of infection control in clinical environments and has made medical nonwovens a stand-out market performer in 2020, according to new research from Smithers. The report, The Future of Medical Nonwovens to 2025, identifies the market will reach $2.49 billion in 2020 as healthcare providers work to defeat the global pandemic, creating a 19.2% rise for nonwovens used in medical settings compared to $2.09 billion in 2019.
As coronavirus infections are brought under control, medical nonwovens will continue to demonstrate elevated demand through to 2025 as they are a vital tool for protection and prevention of infections and diseases. Newly developed data from The Future of Medical Nonwovens to 2025 shows that the value of these products will rise to $2.95 billion in 2025 with a compound annual growth rate of 3.4%. Surface area of 9.05 million metres square and total weight of 480,700 tonnes in 2019 will grow to 12.94 million metres square and 674,400 tonnes in 2025.

Demand across applications

Within the report, Smithers tracks how the refocusing of medical priorities related to COVID-19 will impact demand across 21 medical nonwoven applications; including institutional incontinence products and healthcare wipes. An exclusive data set is provided that segments the market by nonwoven material, nonwoven production process, end-use application, and geographic and major national markets and spells out growth patterns over the five-year report period. More than 150 data tables and figures are contained in the report to help identify the leading drivers and trends in the medical nonwoven market.
Category stand-outs

The main nonwovens market opportunity is for manufacturers of spunlaid, which represents 74.4% of the material produced by weight in 2020. There will also be a boost in the revenue from airlaid and drylaid nonwovens across the five-year period as demand for these materials grows at above the market mean.
Benefiting from the increased use of personal protective equipment related to the treatment of COVID-19 is demand for meltblown nonwovens. This category of nonwovens is used in face masks, especially the N95 or N99 types, that are a vital barrier to the microscopic virus. Demand in 2020 has risen by a factor of up to ten for meltblown nonwovens, far exceeding supply, according to Smithers research.
Market shortages

International supply chains are experiencing disruption as countries with a strong production footprint in medical nonwovens prioritize domestic supply over that of export markets. In response, new capacity is being added rapidly, and industrial nonwoven lines are being repurposed to meet accelerated demand for face masks.
A reduction in sales of surgical drapes and gowns has occurred related to suspended elective surgeries to make resources available for treating patients with COVID-19. These applications are the largest end uses for medical nonwovens accounting for 49%-54% of overall consumption. Demand for these applications should normalize as surgeons move to reduce the backlog of operations postponed in 2020.
The Future of Medical Nonwovens to 2025 is a new Smithers study that combines in-depth scenario modelling for the impact of COVID-19 with analysis of existing trends in the sector, to give a comprehensive forecast of its future growth and strategic priorities.

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