Taiwan man-made fiber industry outlook

The man-made fiber industry is the source of the general textile industry in Taiwan. Man-made fibers are made from synthetic raw materials in the upstream petrochemical industry and link to textiles, dyeing, printing, finishing, garments and related applications in the downstream sector, thereby forming a consistent and huge production system. This is the main reason why the textile industry has a strong international competitiveness, and also serves as an important source for trade surplus in Taiwan.


At present, not only is Taiwan’s man-made fiber industry technologically mature, but can also be imbued with various types of functions, thus allowing man-made fibers to surpass natural fibers. Therefore, man-made fibers have become a highly competitive sub-sector in Taiwan’s textile industry and the foundation of Taiwan’s textile industry. According to the information provided by Japan Chemical Fibers Association, the output volume of man-made fibers in Taiwan was 1.712 million metric tons in 2017, which constituted 2.6% of the global output volume of man-made fiber, making Taiwan the fourth largest man-made fiber-producing country in the world. Of all types of man-made fibers, the output volume of polyester yarn was 788,000 tons, the third highest in the world, whereas the output volume of nylon fiber was 295,000 tons, also the third highest in the world; thus, Taiwan occupies a vital position in the production of both types of man-made fibers.


However, man-made fibers in Taiwan are not produced for direct export. Man-made fibers are first processed before they are made into fabrics for export. Therefore, the man-made fiber industry plays the most important role in the textile raw materials. It not only has huge output value, but also possesses a high industrial relevance. In 2018, the output value of Taiwan’s man-made fiber industry has reached NT$110 billion, and could even drive the entire textile industry to create an annual output value of approximately NT$350 billion after implementing multi-layer processing in the textile industry.


In 2018, the daily production capacity of polyester yarn in Taiwan was 2935 metric tons, which constituted 47.9% of the total production capacity of man-made fiber, demonstrating a decrease of 56 metric tons from 2017; whereas the daily production capacity of polyester staple fiber in Taiwan was 1919 metric tons, which constituted 31.3% of the total production capacity of man-made fiber; the proportion of polyester fiber production capacity has gradually increased from 72% in 2013 to 79.2% in 2018, which is not only high, but also significantly higher than those of other fiber products. On the other hand, the product of man-made fiber processing in the downstream sector is man-made fiber textured yarn. For many years, the production capacity of man-made fiber textured yarn in Taiwan has been focusing mainly on polyester textured yarn, and has accounted for 87% to 89% of the total production capacity of textured yarn, while the production capacity of nylon textured yarn has only constituted 11% to 13%.



The report of “A Circular Vision for Taiwanese Textiles Sector”


According to a material flow analysis performed by Metabolic (2018), Taiwan mainly produces man-made fibers, and is highly dependent on petrochemical materials.

However, Taiwan is a leader in technologies for converting waste into textiles, especially the conversion of consumed PET bottle caps into polyester textiles, thereby activating the transition period toward circular economy.


Therefore, Taiwanese textile manufacturers can utilize man-made fiber manufacturing combined with recycling technologies as the core of research and development to develop the next generation of new green materials.


* Thomas Mason, Erin Kennedy, Eva Gladek(2018), “A Circular Vision for Taiwanese Textiles Sector”, Metabolic, 2018。


台灣人造纖維產業現況


人造纖維工業居於台灣廣義紡織工業之源頭,上承石化工業之合成原料,下接紡織、染、印、整理、成衣及其相關應用作業,儼然形成一貫且龐大的生產體系,此乃紡織工業擁有強大國際競爭力之主因,也是我國貿易順差之重要來源。


目前台灣人造纖維產業不但技術成熟,又可賦予各種機能等性質,而超越天然纖維之性質,故人造纖維已成為台灣紡織業中極具競爭力之次產業,亦為台灣紡織工業之根基。依據日本化纖協會的資料顯示,2017年台灣人造纖維生產量達到171.2萬公噸,占全球人纖生產量比重2.6%,為全球第4大人纖生產國家,其中聚酯絲生產量高達78.8萬噸,為全球第3大,耐隆纖維產量亦高達29.5噸,同樣位居全球第3大,皆佔有重要的生產地位。


然而台灣人纖產品並非直接生產出口,所生產人纖產品進行加工後,做成布料出口。因此人纖工業在紡織原料中扮演了最重要的角色,不但產值龐大,產業關聯性亦大。2018年台灣人纖產業年產值已達新台幣1,100億元,經過紡織工業多層次加工後,更可帶動整體紡織產業創造約3,500億元以上的年產值。


2018年台灣聚酯絲日產能達到2935公噸,占人造纖維總產能47.9%,較2017年減少56公噸;而聚酯短纖則達到1919公噸,占人造纖維總產能31.3%;聚酯纖維的產能比重則從2013年的72%,逐漸增加至2018年的79.2%,不只佔有高比重,且明顯高於其他纖維產品。另一方面,人纖下游的加工製程為人纖加工絲,台灣的人纖加工絲產能多年來都是以聚酯加工絲為主,約佔加工絲總產能87%~89%,耐隆加工絲產能則只佔11%~13%。


根據Metabolic ( 2018) 洩漏分析研究台灣生產製造為人造纖維為主,對石化材料依賴性大;

但台灣為廢棄物轉換紡織品之技術領導者,尤其是消費後PET寶特瓶轉換成為聚酯紡織品,進而啟動邁向循環經濟的過渡期。

因此,台灣紡織業者可運用人造纖維製造結合再利用技術為研發核心,開發下一世代綠色新材料。

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The idea of Circular textile flow is initial by Taiwan Textile Research Institute (TTRI) Sustainability and Certification Section. Ctexflow.com is to sell fabrics as closeouts and over supply come directly from textile factories in Taiwan. We select qualified, innovative, functional excess fabrics and make sure the sources of fabrics meet the principle of sustainability. 

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