China's capacity in polyester filament is now greater than global mill demand, according to a new report - which warns that unless a significant number of plants are closed down this imbalance will continue for another decade.

The latest issue of the PCI Fibres "Green Book" says that 2013 saw China's capacity in polyester filament at 31.3m tons overtake global mill consumption for this type of fibre at 29.7m tons.

Last year, global consumption of polyester filament was 6% up on the previous year, a rate of increase that is also expected for 2014.

Meanwhile China's polyester filament capacity continues to increase: up 17% in 2013 with a further 8% expected in 2014. For 2013 China's capacity was 5% above global mill consumption in polyester filament. By 2015 it is expected to be 12% above, with the position moderating from then on as investors see diminishing returns.

But, even with less investment, some form of balance between China's polyester filament capacity and global consumption is not expected to be reached for another 10 years; unless, that is, a significant number of plants are closed down.

In nylon filament China's capacity is also growing more quickly than global mill consumption, and is forecast to represent 70% of world nylon filament demand within the next two years - unless, again, there is some rationalisation of capacity.

According to the latest analysis, across all fibres, natural and manmade but excluding melt-blown products, textile mill consumption last year is put at 83.4m tons, up 4% on the previous year. Another rise of 4% is forecast for 2014, to 86.8m tons.

Of this total the absorbent fibres of wool, cotton and cellulosic, including viscose and lyocell, have a share of about 35%; a proportion that is expected to be maintained into the mid-term, and quite comfortably.