Increasing demand for disposable hygiene products in Turkey is providing opportunities for a number of Turkish companies, as well as foreign investors, according to a report in the latest issue of Technical Textile Markets from the business information company Textiles Intelligence.
In mid-2012 there were some 65 producers of nonwovens in Turkey, compared with just 25 in 2000. Furthermore, in the five years to 2011, Turkish nonwovens production almost doubled from 89,000 tons to 167,000 tons, and much of this production is being converted into components for disposable hygiene products.
Production of baby diapers in Turkey for the domestic market amounted to an estimated 4 billion in 2010. Furthermore, an additional 4 billion items were produced for exporting at low cost, mainly to East European countries, Iran, Iraq, North African countries and Syria. In total, production in Turkey accounted for about 6% of world consumption of diapers.
Yet, with about 4.1 million infants under the age of three in the country, penetration of the market for baby diapers in Turkey amounts to only 66%. Furthermore, market penetration is significantly lower in a number of neighbouring countries in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).
These figures suggest that there is much growth potential and, not surprisingly, Turkey's diaper manufacturers have become a target for foreign investors.
There is also strong growth potential in other product sectors, notably sanitary napkins. With 18 million females in Turkey between the ages of 15 and 45, market penetration in this sector is estimated to be only 52%.
Turkey has a relatively small elderly population, and adult incontinence products have yet to capture a significant market. Nevertheless, Kimberly-Clark has recently launched its Depend products in the country, which indicates growing interest in this market.
A significant proportion of the converted nonwoven products exported from Turkey now go to countries in the rapidly growing Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region.
However, MENA is not the only region of interest for Turkish manufacturing. Within a radius of just 2,000 miles, Turkey has access to markets in most of Europe, most of the MENA region, a region of Central Asia and parts of Russia, with a total of 1.5 billion people.