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COVID-19’s Impact on the Global Spun Yarn Industry

Posted by Sonoco Conitex Team on November 17,2020

As the COVID-19 pandemic has swept over the globe, many industries have felt the impact. Factories worldwide have, of necessity, turned off their machines and shut their doors. The textile industry, one of the most labor-intensive global industries, has been no exception. 

However, the global nature of the textile industry and the ubiquity of the products it supports position it for long-term success once the pandemic is over. In many countries that are struggling because of COVID-19, textiles and related industries may be an answer to job losses and financial challenges. 

One such industry is spun yarn. A key component of the textile industry, spun yarn

has seen its forecast growth threatened since the start of the pandemic. Let’s take a look at how this large market segment is faring in the age of COVID-19.


What’s Happening Now?

In April 2020, as lockdowns were just beginning to be implemented worldwide, a survey of international textile manufacturers indicated that more than 30 percent of orders had been canceled. In the first half of 2020, the textile trade collapsed. Exports fell, and manufacturers’ supply chains were disrupted. Regulations implemented to slow the spread of the virus closed thousands of factories, and supply chains stuttered to a halt. 

Now, as 2020 is drawing to a close, companies within the textile industry are meeting to discuss a way forward amid the chaos. This year’s crisis will likely change several aspects of supply chain and manufacturing processes. One interviewed textile manufacturer noted that, among other things, the expectation for sustainable practices for textile companies could become a new consumerism standard.


Projected Growth of the Global Spun Yarn Industry

Fortunately, the data does seem to indicate promising trends for textiles and supporting industries, including the spun yarn industry. 

In 2018, one raw materials consumption report indicated that the global market for all spun yarn was 45.6 million tons. Two years later, even amid COVID-19, the global market for spun yarn is estimated at 52.5 million tons. 

That growth is expected to continue. According to the same report, the global spun yarn industry is expected to reach 60.2 million tons by 2027, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 2 percent from 2020 to 2027. 

This projected growth extends to each individual segment of the industry, including polyester, cellulose, and cotton—different fibers that make up the most commonly spun yarns. Polyester has a projected CAGR of 2.5 percent over the next seven years, cellulose is projected to enjoy a 1.5 percent CAGR through 2027, and cotton is expected to see a 1.9 percent CAGR for the same period of time. 

Analyzing the predicted growth rates regionally leads to a similar conclusion. The United States accounted for more than 27.1 percent of the global market in 2020, producing 14.2 million tons. China’s market, already a leader in the spun yarn industry, is projected to be a key player over the next few years, with a 3.8 percent CAGR for the period of 2020-2027.

Other markets will contribute to global growth as well. Japan and Canada are projected to grow at a CAGR of 0.3 percent and 1.4 percent, respectively; Germany is forecast to grow at a rate of approximately 0.8 percent; and the rest of Europe is expected to reach 11.7 million tons by 2027.

This data is promising. However, companies in the textile and spun yarn industries will have to adopt strategic practices in order to fuel this renaissance.

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Looking Ahead

Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the textile industry is still positioned for long-term growth due to several trends, including:

  • The growth of the overall human population
  • The growth of urban populations
  • Increasing demand for comfortable, affordable clothing

Because of this likely growth—and because the textile industry can pave the way for other, more technologically demanding industries—the textile industry could be vital as countries recover from the pandemic. These industries could create jobs and boost industrialization. 

However, this can happen only if the industry embraces innovative and tactical solutions. For example, finding a way to broaden and strengthen processing capabilities as well as incorporate business-friendly sustainability initiatives will help the textile and related industries scale strategically—and swiftly.


A Need for Practices That Benefit the Economy and the Environment 

The projected growth of textiles and supporting industries offers a unique opportunity to realize the environmental and economic benefits of sustainable production practices. These benefits may include: 

  • Improved supply chains
  • Enhanced brand value due to a positive environmental reputation
  • Increased trust among both consumers and textile producers
  • Renewed ability to attract professionals seeking eco-conscious employers

To assist with the rebound of the textile industry, Conitex Sonoco is here to help you ramp up smoothly. Our sustainable packaging is custom-built for spun yarn, and for ideal economic practices. The 100 percent recyclable packaging we offer can translate to lower shipping costs and increased protection for your products.

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Tags: Textile Packaging, Cones & Tubes, Conitex Sonoco®

Sonoco Conitex Team

Sonoco Conitex Team