The Fiber Year GmbH, Switzerland, and Managing Director Andreas W. Engelhardt have released “The
Fiber Year 2012 World Survey on Textiles & Nonwovens.” The report, which has been produced for
more than 50 years, is now being published in cooperation with Lenzing AG, Austria.
According to the report, 2011 global fiber usage totaled more than 51 million metric tons of
man-made fibers and nearly 30 million metric tons of natural fibers. The record-high total of 81
million metric tons represents a 1-percent increase over 2010 fiber usage, and per-capita
consumption of nearly 12 kilograms. Over the last three to four years, man-made-fiber usage has
steadily increased, while natural fiber usage has remained basically flat and begun to decline.
The surge in cotton prices to all-time highs contributed to an overall rise in fiber prices,
although the price differential with polyester has increased. Viscose staple fiber prices were on a
par with cotton prices.
Price levels have trended lower and inventory levels have risen as a result of concerns over
financial conditions in the United States and certain European countries, but these trends have
Within man-made fibers, polyester’s market share grew to 73 percent. Cellulosics and
polyamides also gained market share, while polypropylene and acrylic fibers lost share. Aramid,
carbon and elastane fibers are believed to have reached record-high levels, although they comprise
a very small portion of the sector.
In geographic terms, China’s market share is greater than 60 percent. Japan and Indonesia are
believed to have increased production; while India, South Korea, Taiwan and Thailand are estimated
to have decreased production. Output in Europe and the Americas also has declined.