Despite economic struggles in the region, the Latin American nonwovens industry continues to grow, yet remaining the lowest contributor to the global market. The use of disposable nonwovens consumption is slated to rise, although now represent a minority of the market. The research report titled Latin America Non-Woven Fabric Market Outlook, 2026 by Actual Market Research categorizes the market in each of the following segments: based on polymer type, by layer type, by technology, by application, based on countries & major companies.
The Latin America Non-Woven fabric market is highly fragmented with several players of which, Berry Global Inc., Freudenberg Group, Ahlstrom- Munksj?, Kimberly-Clark, DuPont de Nemours, Fitesa, Glatfelter Corporation, Lydall, Toray Industries, Johns Manville, Suominen Corporation, TWE Group, Low & Bonar, Zhejiang Kingsafe, Avgol, are the prominent ones.
In 2015, the regional market was valued at USD 1.93 Billion, but in the coming period, even a slight increase in the demand may spark the market for better investments. Fitesa, which is owned by Brazilian petro conglomerate Petropar, announced it would add 45,000 tons of spun melt capacity in Latin America between early 2015 and 2016. This can be considered a great move on behalf of the company as the spun bond nonwoven segment is to have an increasing demand with its increasing demand in industrial insulation and metal core packaging. The segment is to hold nearly 40% of the regional market by the end of the forecasted period. Fibertex Group has been supplying nonwovens to Latin America since 1990. Despite big tariff barriers, Fibertex was able to find opportunities over the years in mainly needle-punched technical products. Now, with the acquisition of Duci, it added technical spun bound to its Latin American portfolio.
The investment in Brazil included a new state-of-the-art line in Sao Paolo that was set up to cater to the growing demand of hygiene manufacturers in Latin America. It is housed in a brand new facility in Sao Paolo, Fitesa’s second location in Brazil. In Latin America, the penetration of hygiene products is still increasing, despite the recent macroeconomic challenges in the region. It is also to be believed that the demand for non-woven fabrics to manufacture hygiene care products is to lead the market through the forecasted period. An aging population will further support nonwovens in medical/surgical products, as medical procedures generally increase in frequency as a person ages. Through the forecasted period, the filtration market is expected to post above-average annual growth of 8.79%.
In recent years, nonwovens producers and end-product manufacturers have been entering or expanding in the market through both acquisitions and investments. In Latin America, the single-layer dominated the market since 2015, whereas the multi-layer segment is expected to grow over a CAGR of 9%. Through its acquisitions, Berry Global has gained a large presence in Latin America. Berry entered the nonwovens industry in 2014 when it purchased the world’s largest producer, Avintiv.
Polypropylene is dominated the Latin America nonwoven fabrics market, with more than USD 1.4 Billion in value in 2020. Demographics aside, hygiene still relies on spending power gains to fully capture the sizeable potential market in retail sales given the predominance of low-to-intermediary product lines and per capita consumption and spending that still lag behind developed regions like North America. The gap is particularly large in categories like wipes and adult incontinence, both of which require higher and more stable disposable income levels for wider household adoption. Polyethylene type polymer segment is expected to grow over a CAGR of 7% over the forecasted period. The trends visualized in Latin America are gradually to add more value on hygiene categories, especially driven by mid-to-high manufacturers, and consumers are generally more rational especially in markets like this where they come across recession periods and are more prone to value their money.
When discussing the region’s challenges in general, it is to be noted that Latin America’s historical volatility of economies underpins the difficulty to predict more assertively year-over-year hygiene consumption and long-run investments such as new machinery. Besides, overall low disposable income and alarming social inequality are downsides of a region where aging is already notable without reaching the levels of hygiene consumption in developed markets.