Polyester fibers are manufactured from recycled or virgin PET. These fibers can be colored by the method of pigmentation or dope dyeing. Polyester fibers can be classified as staple fibers and bulk continuous fibers (BCF) depending on their length. These fibers can also be manufactured in various geometries such as square, rectangular, triangular, hexagonal and circular depending upon the area of application.
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Growth of residential and commercial buildings market, emerging markets of Asia Pacific, increasing demand for nonwoven materials and products and rising demand for geotextiles are expected to be some of the key factors driving demand for polyester fibers. Additionally, global protective clothing market would boost demand for polyester fibers in the near future. Furthermore, increasing demand for hollow fibers in mattresses and subsequent growth of the mattresses market is likely to bolster demand for polyester fibers during the forecast period. However, volatility in prices of raw materials, presence of stringent regulations regarding the manufacture and wastage of polyester are some of the critical parameters that are anticipated to hamper market growth. Nonetheless, there are several opportunities for growth of the market in the near future such as rise in scope of applications of hollow polyester fibers in medical applications and increasing demand for polyester fibers in the apparel industry due to higher prices of cotton.
Depending upon the method of manufacture, polyester fibers can be segmented into solid and hollow. Solid fiber was the largest product segment of the polyester solid fiber market, accounting for 83.0% of the total share in 2012. Solid fiber is used in a wide range of applications such as apparels, nonwoven fabrics and products, and home furnishings. Demand for polyester is likely to rise significantly during the next few years as this material is being increasingly used in place of other materials such as cotton and nylon due to its low cost and unique characteristics. Hollow fibers function as fillers. They are used in fiberfill. Fiberfill is used in applications such as pillows, quilts and protective clothing due to its warmth, high resilience and good bulk.
Fiberfill was the important application segment of the market accounting for over 15% of the polyester fiber market share in 2012. Carpets & rugs is expected to be the fastest growing application segment in the polyester solid fibers market over the next few years. Polyester is increasingly used in carpets & rugs due to rising demand for economical carpets globally. Additionally, increasing demand for pillows and quilts due to the growth of the home furnishings market, particularly in emerging economies such as China, Brazil and India, is anticipated to drive demand for polyester solid fibers as fiberfill. Apparel, home textiles and industrial are other applications of polyester fiber.
Asia Pacific was the largest market for polyester solid fibers in 2012. Together, Europe and North America constituted around 10% of the market share in 2012. Asia Pacific is projected to be the fastest growing market for polyester solid fibers during the forecast period due to strong demand for carpets & rugs, nonwoven fabrics, home furnishings products, textiles, apparels and industrial products that use polyester. China and India are leading polyester producing countries of the world. In 2012, China alone accounted for over 60% of the global polyester fiber production. Demand for polyester solid fibers is estimated to be significant in the MENA region and RoW.
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Reliance, Sinopec, Zhejiang Hengyi, Zhejiang Tongkun, Nan-Ya and Indorama are some of the leading manufacturers of polyester fiber. The polyester fiber market is highly fragmented in nature with the presence of several small, medium and large scale manufacturers. The market is highly susceptible to merger & acquisitions where large scale companies are constantly in the pursuit to maintain their leading position in the market.