Bast fiber, also known as phloem fiber or skin fiber, is the fiber collected from the phloem or bast surrounding the stem of certain dicotyledonous plants. Some bast fibers are obtained from herbs, wild plants, and trees. Bast fibers are classified into two types: soft fibers and hard fibers. It is produced through the retting process.
Based on fiber type, the bast fiber market can be segmented into soft fiber and hard fiber. The soft fibers segment accounted for significant share of the bast fibers market in 2016 owing to the wide applications in different end-use industries. The hard fibers segment is anticipated to experience high growth rate, led by the increase in demand for textiles. Changes in consumer preferences and rise in disposable income are anticipated to boost the demand for bast fibers during the forecast period.
In terms of region, the global bast fibers market has been divided into Asia Pacific, North America, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and Latin America. Asia Pacific accounted for key share of the bast fibers market in 2016, followed by North America and Europe. The market for bast fibers in Asia Pacific is estimated to expand due to the rise in demand for hemp fibers in various end-use industries such as pulp & paper, injection molding, and insulation materials. The bast fibers market is driven by the increase in demand for these fibers in the automobile sector. Growth in disposable income of consumers in North America and Europe is projected to boost the bast fibers market in these regions.
The U.S. and the U.K. are likely to constitute major share of the bast fibers market in North America and Europe, respectively, during the forecast period due to the high disposable income of consumers in these regions. The bast fibers market is anticipated to witness a shift from the U.S. and Western Europe to developing economies in Asia Pacific, led by the rising demand for composites in the automobile sector. The bast fibers market in developing economies in Asia, namely China and India, is also estimated to expand at a rapid pace due to the increase in income and changing lifestyle of consumers. Technological advancements and innovations in new application areas are also projected to boost the demand for bast fibers during the forecast period.
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Global demand for bast fibers is anticipated to rise significantly in the near future. This offers high growth opportunities for the bast fibers market. Rapid increase in demand in end-use applications, low costs, and high economic growth rate are propelling the bast fibers market in Asia Pacific. These factors are encouraging companies to adopt expansion and R&D strategies in the region. Market players are focusing on Asia Pacific to gain higher market share. Producers of bast fibers are adopting expansion and acquisition strategies to meet the global demand. Large numbers of producers are shifting their plants to countries such as China and India due to factors such as high demand and low raw material and labor costs in these countries.
Major players operating in the global bast fibers market are Bast Fibers LLC, FlexForm Technologies, Procotex SA Corporation NV, Polyvlies Franz Beyer GmbH & Co. Kg, Tecnaro GmbH, Greencore Composites Inc., Polymera Inc., and Park Electrochemical Corp.
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