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Japan's demand for non-woven fabric in 2014 was 442,892 tonnes, an increase of 5.1% over the previous year. Domestic demand in 2005 was 342,060 tons, an increase of nearly 100,000 tons in the past nine years. In 2015, the output was 224,477 tons, up 0.2% over the same period of the previous year. The export volume was 34,348 tons, down by 6.8% from the same period of last year and the import volume was 120,679 tons (up by 13.8%). Domestic demand was 310,808 tons, an increase of 6% over the same period of last year.
Although demand for non-woven fabrics in Japan dropped sharply in 2009, it has steadily increased since 2012, at an average annual growth rate of about 5%. Domestic and Imported Nonwovens As the demand for nonwovens in the Japanese market continues to increase, the use of domestic nonwovens has been slow to grow and the use of nonwovens imports has been steadily increasing. The share of imported nonwovens for domestic demand is growing each year, up from 36.8% in 2014. Between January and August 2015, it increased by nearly 40%. In the past nine years, domestic demand has increased by about 100,000 tons, however, most of the increase has been the import of nonwovens. The strong demand for non-woven fabrics did not bring benefits to the Japanese non-woven fabric manufacturers. The fastest-growing imports of nonwovens are polypropylene spunbond nonwoven and rayon spunlace nonwoven. Demand for polypropylene spunbond nonwovens has increased due to expanded diaper production. The need for wet tissues and masks adds to the need for ayon spunlace nonwovens. As the demand for these applications will increase in the foreseeable future, the import of nonwovens will continue to increase in the next two to three years.