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Growing Awareness for Hygiene to Spur Nonwoven Baby Diaper Sales


Growing Awareness for Hygiene to Spur Nonwoven Baby Diaper Sales

The rising population in developing nations increased focus on personal hygiene, and growing demand for eco-friendly baby products are some factors contributing to the proliferation of the nonwoven baby diaper market. Nonwoven fabrics are being primarily used in the textile industry, especially for producing baby diapers owing to their excellent absorbency, liquid retardancy, etc.

The synthetic fibers that are used for making diapers are derived from polypropylene. Nonwoven baby diapers have a soft texture that avoids babies from getting rashes on their skin. When a baby urinates, it passes through the fabric and is absorbed by the material, keeping the baby stress-free and comfortable.

Talking about comfort, many diaper makers are developing stretchable nonwoven baby diapers that enable babies to roam around unbounded. Using nonwoven fabrics for making diapers helps the purpose as this material offers excellent breathability and flexibility, owing to which babies don’t feel restless.

Sustainability is one of the key factors when it comes to personal hygiene, and baby diapers are no exception. Regional authorities and national-level government organizations are implementing environment-friendly policies by promoting disposable baby diapers. This has encouraged manufacturers to redesign their products with sustainable materials to meet these regulations. With such a soaring demand for environment-friendly products, it is likely to prove beneficial for the augmentation of the nonwoven baby diaper market.

Developing nations like India and China, two of the most populous nations of the world, have significantly high birth rates and this can prove beneficial for the baby diaper industry to flourish in the Asia Pacific. Furthermore, increased awareness amongst millennial parents regarding basic baby hygiene and health may possibly shift their focus from traditional diapers to sustainable and comfortable ones, thereby boosting the consumption of nonwoven baby diapers.

Many key players are collaborating with regulatory organizations for exercising innovative and safer approaches to developing baby diapers. To support this statement with an instance, Healthynest, a personal baby care brand has teamed up with the Environmental Working Group (EWG) and launched new baby diapers that satisfy the stringent guidelines set by the EWG, which includes the analysis of every ingredient used for producing a baby diaper and excluding chemicals that can be harmful to the baby’s health.

Diaper manufacturers are also strengthening their market position with strategic acquisitions and mergers. For instance, Unicharm Corp. announced the acquisition of DSG International, which claimed to be the second-largest baby diaper manufacturer in Thailand. This has helped the Japanese company in bolstering its market presence in the Southeast Asia region.

In conclusion, the nonwoven baby diaper market has immense potential to proliferate with growing awareness for personal baby hygiene and increasing birth rate in emerging economies.

metal can

The American Metal Can Market Languishes Against the Pandemic and Competition from Plastic Containers

IndexBox has just published a new report: ‘U.S. Metal Can Market. Analysis And Forecast to 2025’. Here is a summary of the report’s key findings.

In 2019, the U.S. metal can market decreased by -2.2% to $12.6B, falling for the fifth consecutive year after two years of growth. Over the period under review, consumption continues to indicate a slight reduction. The growth pace was the most rapid in 2014 when the market value increased by 1.6% y-o-y. As a result, consumption reached the peak level of $14.1B. From 2015 to 2019, the growth of the market remained at a somewhat lower figure.

The market remains almost entirely supplied by domestic manufacturers. Despite its rapid growth over the last two years, the share of imports in terms of total consumption remains negligibly small, amounting to near 3%. The market, therefore, is not really an attractive destination for suppliers from abroad. In value terms, metal can production declined slightly to $12.4B in 2019 (IndexBox estimates). Over the period under review, production saw a perceptible reduction.

The long-term contraction from 2015-2019 is largely shaped by a sharp drop in oil prices in 2015. It caused a simultaneous decline in global prices for many commodities, including metals, leading to a decrease in raw material cost for the production of metal cans. Moreover, prices for polymer materials also dropped, making the competitive plastic packaging more affordable.

Metal cans are mainly used as packaging for food and drink items, as well as for laundry goods, personal care goods, and chemicals, incl. solvents for paints, automotive chemistry, etc. Accordingly, the market is affected, on the one hand, by an increase in the population and its income, and on the other hand, the general dynamics of the economy and industrial production.

In early 2020, the global economy entered a period of crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, due to which most countries in the world put on halt production and transport activity. The result will be a drop in GDP relative to previous years and an unprecedented decline in oil prices. Since production in many countries to some extent stops for several months, international transport was almost completely discontinued and domestic travel was minimized, oil demand fell sharply, which led to lower prices and heavy oil production cuts taking place.

This drop in oil prices in 2020 is to make the competition with cheaper plastic containers more severe. The U.S. is expected to face a short-term recession, with the contraction of GDP of approx. -3.6% in 2020, as the hit of the pandemic was hard and unemployment soared due to the shutdown and social isolation. This, in turn, is to affect the demand for metal cans across all the major downstream industries.

Even more noticeable decrease can occur in the segment of chemical and construction containers, containers for fuel and lubricants. As the demand for trips fell sharply, the need for vehicle maintenance also contracted, which in turn reduces the demand for containers for related products. In the construction sector, there may also be a moment of uncertainty due to reduced income for potential home buyers – this, in turn, may also lead to a decrease in the consumption of metal cans for construction-related products.

In the medium term, should the pandemic outbreak end, and the economy start recovering in 2021, the market trend is to stabilize, driven by the fundamentals that existed before 2020.

Exports from the U.S.

In 2019, overseas shipments of metal can increased by 35% to 1.4B units, rising for the second year in a row after two years of decline. Over the period under review, exports, however, continue to indicate a deep contraction. Exports peaked at 3.7B units in 2015; however, from 2016 to 2019, exports remained at a lower figure.

In value terms, metal can exports expanded rapidly to $281M (IndexBox estimates) in 2019.

Exports by Country

Canada (916M units) was the main destination for metal can exports from the U.S., with a 64% share of total exports. Moreover, metal can exports to Canada exceeded the volume sent to the second major destination, Mexico (250M units), fourfold. The third position in this ranking was occupied by Trinidad and Tobago (61M units), with a 4.3% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of volume to Canada totaled -12.5%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of export growth: Mexico (+13.0% per year) and Trinidad and Tobago (-1.3% per year).

In value terms, Canada ($197M) remains the key foreign market for metal can exports from the U.S., comprising 70% of total exports. The second position in the ranking was occupied by Mexico ($38M), with a 14% share of total exports. It was followed by Jamaica, with a 2.2% share.

From 2013 to 2019, the average annual rate of growth in terms of value to Canada totaled -8.1%. Exports to the other major destinations recorded the following average annual rates of exports growth: Mexico (+12.9% per year) and Jamaica (+7.9% per year).

Companies Mentioned in the Report

Ball Corporation, Crown Holdings Inc., Silgan Containers, BWAY Corporation, Silgan Holdings, Independent Can Company, Exal Corporation, Conco, Can Corporation of America, Ds Containers, Silgan White Cap Corporation, CCL Container Corporation, Ball Metal Food Container Corp., Justrite Manufacturing Company, Rexam Beverage Can Company, Silgan Containers Manufacturing Corporation, Bway Holding Company, Metal Container Corporation, Silgan Containers Corporation, Crown Cork & Seal Usa, Reynolds Metals Company, PSC Industries, Foulkrod Associates, Brockway Standard (new Jersey), Ball Aerosol and Specialty Container Inc., Crown Beverage Packaging, Ball Metal Beverage Container Corp., Ball Packaging, Bway Parent Company, Bway Intermediate Company, Crown Cork & Seal Company

Source: IndexBox AI Platform


Will Usage of Abaca Fiber Face Masks During COVID-19 Help to Reduce Wastes During the Pandemic?

With the demand for face masks and other PPE equipment soaring high worldwide due to the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic spread, it is quite impossible to not ignore the burgeoning plastic wastes created by their disposal. According to estimates by Greenpeace Taiwan, the country produced and used about 1.3 billion surgical masks during the apex of the pandemic- from early February to mid-May. This number generates over 5,500 metric tons of general waste within a span of 3 months.

Such numbers signify that although face masks add to the general protection during the pandemic situation, they also contribute massively towards environmental degradation and landfill pollution, demanding a bio-degradable solution and substitute. This has gradually led to the emergence and usage of abaca fiber-based surgical and sustainable masks.

Recently, a Philippines-based firm- Salay Handmade Products Industries, Inc. had come forward to commercialize and supply masks made from raw abaca fibers, which boast of the property to decompose in just two months. Abaca fibers are generally rooted from banana leaf and are considered to be strong as polyester but high on the sustainability front. A proper validation on the use of abaca fibers for the production of face masks is offered by the country’s Department of Science and Technology. The researchers found that abaca mask is potent of absorbing nearly 3% to 5% of total water applied, while N95 and surgical masks absorbed 46% and 0.17% respectively.

Essentially, the abaca masks repel water far better than an N95 mask and is considered to be extremely safe for use. Although these abaca masks are eco-friendly, they are also quite highly-priced. That said, environmentalists concerned with the plastic crisis plaguing the entire planet will hopefully witness the benefit of investing in biodegradable masks providing an impetus to the global abaca fiber market.

Abaca fibers, also known as ‘Queen of natural fibers’ offer a huge potential to be used as a renewable bio-resource and are claimed to have a high content of lignin (about 9%) and cellulose (roughly 77%) that provide significant resistance to abrasion, traction, UV rays, and saltwater. These properties allow the fibers to be abundantly used for various industrial or extra-industrial applications across automotive, shipping, construction, pulp and paper, furniture, and textile industries.

Why are abaca fibers gaining massive momentum across the automotive industry?

It was in late 2004 that a major automotive giant, Chrysler-Damlier had explored the possibility of incorporating abaca or banana fiber in polypropylene thermoplastic as a substitute to glass fiber used in the exterior of most of the cars. In fact, it was reported that the company was able to demonstrate that PP composites reinforced with abaca fibers showed high structural as well as tensile strength similar to that of glass fiber. Additionally, abaca reinforced PP composites are relatively lighter compared to glass fiber, which could lead to enhanced fuel and energy saving for vehicles while also reducing their weight by up to 60%.

Elaborating further, the DOST Industrial Technology Development Institute sees abaca’s potential as a roofing material for various public utility vehicles. The polymer’s low heat conductivity could help prevent most of the sun’s heat from entering the automobile’s cab, which is especially helpful during the long summer months.

Speaking of the importance of abaca fibers in the automotive industry, the Philippines, which currently produces about 85% of the world’s abaca firmly states that the use of these fibers could potentially augment the country’s local automotive industry in the years to come.

Abaca fiber market trends across the Philippines

The Philippines has over the years remained a dominant region for the abaca fiber market as it stands to be the largest global producer of abaca fiber, ever since its introduction. Reports state that the region produces about 80% of these fibers in about 130 thousand hectares of land. The market is witnessing a massive boost owing to the mounting demand for toys, gifts, and houseware products. Not only this, rising customer inclination for lifestyle products is also stimulating the industry progression.

What has been fueling the industry growth in the Philippines is the introduction of several initiatives that look toward the promotion and production of high-quality abaca fiber in the region. The federal government is responsible for mandating and creating initiatives and measures which strengthen the hold of the country in the overall abaca fiber market while also creating additional growth opportunities for new market players to foray into the regional market.

Although the market has been expanding prolifically over the past few years, it is currently facing some challenges which might hinder its growth in the near future. A major disadvantage being the application of these fibers as reinforcement. Since abaca fibers cannot blend uniformly with polymer composites owing to their natural properties, this complicates the composite fabrication process in the textile industry, limiting its use in the overall textile business space.

Nevertheless, abaca fibers’ eco-friendly and bio-degradable properties have enabled the global abaca market to grow profusely over the span of 2020 to 2026.