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Global fiber market reflects volatility

The global fiber sector is in a state of volatility with considerable ups and downs, significant overcapacity in a number of fiber segments and the backlash from slowing global demand at retail. The fiber market is in need of greater transparency and improvements along the textile value chain. Though synthetic fiber growth is up, and cellulosic fibers are enjoying strong growth, polyester saw the slowest growth in 80 years, and natural fibers are stagnating.

There is a global shift towards manmade fibers while natural fibers, mainly cotton, have lost market share. Manmade fibers occupy 70 per cent of the global fiber market versus 55 per cent some ten years ago, and this trend may continue for years. Between 2006 and 2016, synthetics occupied 51 per cent of the global market share, and now that number is 64 per cent.

When it comes to cellulosics in particular, like lyocell, the fibers have seen above average production growth of six per cent. China has lifted its volume of stable fibers by two per cent, due only to gains in manmade fibers. In India, output advanced two per cent thanks to increases in all categories. Bangladesh is fully focused on cotton products and as of today is not able to supply manmade products. But in time manmade fibers may have a growing share in Bangladesh.