The global rayon fibers market size is projected to reach US$ 21 million by 2024, and register CAGR of 8.1% over the forecast period (2019 - 2027).

Market Overview

Rayon is a fiber manufactured from naturally occurring cellulose present in wood pulp, or plant-based material such as cotton, and then transformed into synthetic fibers through the process of chemical treatment. Types of rayon include modal, viscose, out of which viscose rayon is the most popular type of rayon which can be blended with manmade or naturally occurring fibers in order to produce a fabric of different textures and weight. It is also the most versatile type of rayon owing to its degree of comfort, cost effectiveness, and absorbent properties.

Market Dynamics

Rayon fibers have a wide range of applications in a number of industries such as textiles, apparel, surgical equipment, upholstery, and feminine hygiene products. Rayon can mimic properties of other fibers such as nylon fibers, cotton, and wool which makes it a popular and cost effective alternative for use in varying climatic conditions. It also finds application in the apparel industry owing to its semi-synthetic nature. Technological advancements in the clothing industry are likely to benefit demand for rayon in the next few years. Growing preference for blended fabrics instead of purely synthetic fabric among the consumers is expected to influence demand for rayon fabric worldwide. Additionally, growing cotton prices have led clothing manufacturers to opt for rayon instead of cotton. As a result of increase in demand for rayon, companies are investing in manufacturing facilities, and pulp mills, in order to increase production of rayon.

Furthermore, scientists are focused on research and development activities centered on chemical reactivity and structure of cellulose. According to researchers, it may be possible to obtain cellulose molecules with a direct interaction with sunlight, carbon dioxide, and water. Such innovations may reduce the cost of obtaining raw materials required for manufacturing manmade fabrics. Properties of rayon fiber such as high tenacity, absorbency, abrasion resistance, as well as resistance to sunlight are expected to drive growth of the global rayon fibers market.

However, certain factors may restrain growth of the market, such as rayon’s susceptibility to concentrated bleaches due to the presence of natural polymers, as well as the likelihood of the fabric losing its strength when exposed to sunlight for a long time. Also, manufacturing hazards owing to production of highly poisonous carbon disulfide have led to lawsuits and severe health effects in workers . However, impact on modern manufacturing facilities is unknown.

Market Outlook

The rapidly expanding textile sector in emerging economies such as China and India is expected to generate the highest demand for rayon fibers in the Asia Pacific region. Owing to the hot and humid climate in this region, consumers are likely to switch their preference from cotton to rayon due to the latter’s quick drying properties. Europe and Middle East are likely to account for the second highest market share in the global rayon fibers market. Moreover, increasing cost for producing cotton is expected to favour demand for rayon around the world.

Key Players

Some of the major companies operating in the global rayon fibers market are Tembec, Inc., Acordis, Grasim Industries Ltd., Lenzing AG, Eastman Chemical Company, and Kelheim Fibres.

Key Developments

  • In December 2019, Lenzing AG – one of the largest rayon fiber manufacturer, invested around US$ 1,300 Mn in a dissolving wood pulp plant in Sao Paulo, Brazil. The plant will have a total capacity of 500 kilo tons and the wood pulp will be further converted into cellulosic fibers which will be the part of the group’s biobased fibers segment.
  • In October 2019, Lenzing AG and Dupont biomaterials collaborated to launch a new fabric collection made from natural materials. The launch will incorporate Duponts’ Sorona fibers and TENCEL (modal & lyocell) fibers from Lenzing. Dupont’s markets its rayon fibers with a brand name – “Sorona”. New collaborations will drive the growth for rayon fibers during the forecast period.
  • In November 2019, Lenzing AG officially started the construction work of the largest lyocell fibers facility in Thailand. The plant will have an annual production capacity of 100 kilo tons and will meet the growing demand for rayon fibers in Asia Pacific region. The plant is expected to come on-stream by the second half of 2021.
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