Population aging, infection prevention and chronic diseases promote the growth of medical nonwoven fabric
Looking into the future, some of the main growth drivers of the medical nonwoven market will be the intensification of the global population aging, infection prevention and chronic disease epidemic. According to the data of Smithers, a market research institution, the total market value of the global medical nonwoven fabric market in 2022 is expected to be US $1.43 billion, higher than US $1.27 billion in 2019. Its latest report predicts the future growth rate (3.7% in value terms) from 2022 to 2027, which will push the world market value to US $1.72 billion in 2027.
Medical nonwovens are used in the production of surgical clothing, surgical cloth, table covers, frosted suits, isolation clothing, surgical caps, shoe covers, bedding, disinfection packages and wound care products, as well as other applications. Surgical sheets and surgical clothing are the largest part of Nonwovens in the medical field, accounting for more than 50% of the consumption of Nonwovens in history, although this figure did decline in 2020
With the aging of the global population and the increase of life expectancy, there is no reason to expect to reduce surgical procedures. In fact, it is expected that such procedures will increase by 5-7% annually by 2027. Covid-19 provides a reason for the regional strategic reserve of key medical products and the increase in the inventory level of these products. The increasing frequency of global health problems indicates that the end use of medical non-woven fabrics will continue to grow. Masks were and are a small but visible end use, and are likely not to be a determinant of the long-term growth of the market.
It is expected that the supply and demand of medical non-woven fabrics will fluctuate in the short term, because the oversupply in some fields such as personal protective equipment (PPE) is undergoing a "correction" period, in which the inventory and overcapacity as well as the reduction of epidemic demand lead to overcapacity in 2022-24.
In 2021, Hartmann, a European manufacturer of infection management, incontinence and wound care solutions, saw a negative growth in personal protective equipment after reaching its peak in 2020. However, according to the company's representative, the market assumed that higher growth would drive further growth in the sensitivity of health measures. The demand for PPE is still high, but with the launch of the product, many customers hoard in 2021.
Throughout the outbreak, MEDLINE said that another manufacturer and distributor of non-woven PPE (including protective clothing and masks) remained focused on implementing new ideas to address the shortage of medical supplies across the country, including expanding its manufacturing capacity in North America.
For example, MEDLINE produces more than 200 million masks a year at its plant in Lithia Springs, Georgia. This manufacturing expansion is part of MEDLINE's healthcare resilience program and part of ongoing supply chain investment in the face of persistent shortages. Since 2018, the company has invested $2 billion in its distribution center, manufacturing capacity and t-upgrade to further commit to providing excellent customer service, and plans to invest another $400 million in 2022.
MEDLINE believes that a strong supply chain includes nonwovens and finished products from both onshore and offshore. Therefore, it appreciates the continuous investment in technology and geography of the nonwovens industry and will continue to review new innovations and technologies to make nonwovens more efficient, comfortable, protective and sustainable for modern health care providers.