Spandex market in Japan is now matured, and there is little room for expansion
Toshio Takanashi, president of Asahi Kasei Fibers gives a brief account of the nonwovens industry in Japan in an exclusive interview with Fibre2Fashion correspondent Ridaa Saiyed.
Asahi Kasei Fibers is a part of the Asahi Kasei Corporation based in Japan. It is one of the leading producers of nonwovens in the world. Its main products include Roica elastic polyurethane, Eltas spunbond, Lamous artificial suede, Bemliese cupro nonwoven, Bemberg cupro fiber, and Leona nylon 66 filament. It has a history of 90 years to boast about in manufacturing of original yarn, spun fiber, and fabric.
Mr. Takanashi is one of the most dynamic employees of Asahi Kasei Corporation. His role in bringing the company forward has remained major. He has made the expansion of nonwovens market for Asahi Kasei Fibers to USA, Europe, and Asia. His strategy forming skills have always been appreciated.
What is the present market status of the nonwovens industry in the South East Asia?
The South East Asian nonwovens market itself is growing. The economic situation and forecast of increasing population are pushing its growth.
In case of Asahi Kasei, our main target is South East Asian market. As the diaper market is growing there, we are planning to increase our capacity.
How big is the nonwovens global market?
It is said the demand was 3,300 thousand tons per year in 2012 and expected to be 4,950 thousand tons in 2017.
What makes Asahi Kasei Fibers Corporation different form other nonwovens manufacturers?
Firstly, raw material diversification: Asahi Kasei produces polypropylene, nylon, polyester, and cellulose spunbond, and also produces meltblown. In special applications, we have artificial leather suede used for furniture and automobiles.
Secondly, high quality and differentiation: Asahi Kasei's products focus on light weight, softness, and high functionality.
Asia is said to be booming in the nonwovens industry compared to North America and Europe. What benefits do you think the Asian countries have?
As Asian market grows due to steady increase of population, we can expect increasing demand, as well as higher demand for upgraded quality. Our customers in Japan are quite active to build new factories in Asia.
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