Henequen Market Introduction
Henequen fiber is extracted from the leaves of the Agave fourcroydes plant. Henequen is also known as Cuban sisal or Yucatan sisal, plant of asparagus family. The primary use of Henequen is for the manufacturing of ropes and twines for applications such as agriculture and shipping. The agave is majorly grown in eastern Mexico, and extensively in Yucatan, southern Tamaulipas and Veracruz. The henequen fibers are also used to make traditional Mexican alcoholic drinks, Licor del henequen.
The agave plant looks like a rosette of sword-shaped leaves, rising out of a thick stem. The leaves have frequently spaced teeth 3–6 mm long and a spine 2 to 3 cm long. Henequen plants yield about 25 leaves annually from about the 5th through the 16th year after planting. The fiber is freed by decortication, which crushes the leaf between scrapes and rollers the resulting pulp from the fiber. Then the henequen fiber strands are washed, dried in the sun, and brushed. The bright white or yellow fiber strands average about 4-5 feet in length. Henequen fiber has fairly good strength, an ability to stretch, and fair resistance to deterioration from microorganisms found in saltwater. Agave is a sterile hybrid that is the ovaries do not yield seeds. Factors impacting the properties of the henequen includes weather conditions, the age of the plant, type of soil, extraction method and others. Since the rise of henequen as a commercial fiber, traditional products such as ropes, twines, and sacking accounts for the largest share of fiber produced, the henequen market is about to rise during the forecast period.
Henequen Market Dynamics
Conventionally, henequen has been the leading material for agricultural twine because of its durability, strength, stretching ability, affinity for certain dyestuffs, and resistance to deterioration in saltwater. Henequen has been used as a strengthening material to replace fiberglass and asbestos. Apart from twines, ropes, cordage, it is also used in low-cost and specialty paper, dartboards, filters, buffing cloth, mattresses, and handicrafts. The paper industry processes the low-grade fiber because of its high content of cellulose and hemicelluloses. The moderate-grade fiber is used in the cordage industry for manufacturing of twines, ropes, and baler. The primary use of Ropes and twines is for the marine, agricultural, and general industries. The high-grade fiber is converted into yarns and used by the carpet industry after several treatments. It is also a valuable feed for honey bees because of its long flowering period. It is attractive to them during pollen shortage. These are the significant factors leading to the increase in the growth of the henequen market.
In Yucatan, the extraction of raw fiber from the plant and the production of twine and rope was at one time a thriving industry, but the removal of the henequen fiber was so labor-intensive that production was limited. The importance of this traditional use is fading with competition from polypropylene and the development of other techniques, while new higher-valued henequen products have been developed.
Henequen Market Segmentation
Henequen market is segmented on the basis of product types as:
- Low grade henequen fiber
- Moderate grade henequen fiber
- High grade henequen fiber
Henequen market is segmented on the basis of end-use products as:
- Bluffing cloth
- Shoe Soles
Henequen market is segmented on the basis of end-use industries as:
- Other industrial use
Henequen Market Regional Overview
The regional demand for henequen varies across the world. North America is a major importer of the henequen fiber and its products.
As most of the agave fourcroydes are grown in eastern Mexico, the demand for henequen in that region will remain higher as compared to the other areas. Moreover, the economy of Yucatan based on henequen exports become the richest and wealthy in Mexico.
APEJ is also a vast region in the henequen market as countries like India is a significant region. As China is known for its high-performance output and low investment costs, China is also a considerable region. Therefore APEJ henequen market is expected to grow in this region.
Henequen Market Key Players
Prominent players functioning in the henequen market are,
- Gorai Industries Pvt. Ltd.
- JSR (International) Private Limited
- REA Vipingo Group
- International Fiber Corporation
- Wild Fibres
- SFI Tanzania
- METL Group
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