Western European Nonwovens Production Increases 8 8 Percent

According to figures released by the Belgium-based European Disposables and Nonwovens Association
(EDANA), production of nonwovens in Western Europe grew by 8.8 percent in 1999 to reach 909,800
tons. Nonwovens include unique, engineered fabrics used in such products as baby diapers, wipes,
surgical drapes, filtration, packaging, vehicle headliners, roofing and crop protection.When
measured in square meters, the percentage increase was about 10 percent with 23,238.9 million
square meters produced.In less than 10 years, the output of the Western European nonwovens industry
has doubled. Guy Massenaux, secretary general, EDANA, stated, In 2001, I expect nonwovens
production to grow again sizably.Polypropylene is the most important polymer used in the nonwovens
industry in fiber or granule form, amounting to 492,300 tons of the 909,800-ton total.EDANA
estimates the 1999 turnover in the industry to be about EUR 3600 million, showing no increase
compared with turnover in 1998.

January 2001