Table of Contents
US demand to rise 7.8% annually through 2018
US demand for pipe is expected to grow 7.8 percent per year through 2018, reaching $57.3 billion and a total length of 11.8 billion feet of pipe. Gains will be driven by the continuing shift in the US energy industry. Increasing exploration and drilling activity -- particularly in the natural gas segment -- will spur demand for pipe, as will rising interest in the use of natural gas as an environmentally friendly alternative to coal. Line pipe will be needed for the gathering, transmission, and distribution pipe networks that transport gas from wellheads to power plants and other end users. The projected rebound in building construction expenditures through 2018 will also contribute to demand for pipe. For instance, in the residential market, increasing housing completions and continuing interest in kitchen and bathroom renovation projects will boost demand for drain, waste, and vent pipe, which is used intensively in residences. Rising nonresidential building construction expenditures will support demand for conduit used to protect electrical and telecommunications wiring. Among the various pipe materials, steel accounted for the largest share of pipe demand by value in 2013 with 57 percent of the market, supported by its use in the oil and gas segment. Steel pipe is used in that segment because of its low cost, durability, and compression strength. Demand for steel pipe is forecast to rise at an above-average pace through 2018 to $33.2 billion. Gains will be driven by the high level of drilling activity and the efforts of oilfield service professionals to increase the size and scope of the nation’s network of natural gas transmission and distribution lines.
Plastic to be fastest growing pipe material
Plastic pipe demand is anticipated to rise at the most rapid pace of all materials, advancing 8.8 percent annually to $13.6 billion in 2018. Growth will be spurred by the increasing use of plastic pipe -- especially small- and medium- diameter pipe -- at the expense of such materials as corrugated steel, concrete, and ductile iron. Plastic pipe offers a broad range of performance advantages, such as moderate cost, ease of handling and installation, long service life, and corrosion resistance. In such applications as potable water and sewer and drainage, plastic pipe will be specified by engineers and contractors looking to reduce long-term maintenance and replacement costs. Rebounding building construction expenditures will spur demand for plastic pipe used as conduit, gas distribution, and drain, waste, and vent pipe. PVC was the leading plastic resin used to make pipe in 2013, and will remain the market leader in 2018. PVC is utilized to make pipe for such applications as potable water distribution, sanitary sewer, conduit, and agriculture. Demand for PVC pipe will benefit from the material’s durability and resistance to degradation caused by moisture, ultraviolet radiation, and chemicals. HDPE, which accounted for the second-largest share of plastic pipe demand in 2013, is expected to see the strongest gains in demand through 2018. HDPE pipe will see increasing use in sewer and drainage, potable water, and natural gas distribution applications, taking market share from such materials as steel and concrete. HDPE pipe offers such performance advantages as durability and corrosion resistance. Moreover, pipe made from HDPE is flexible, facilitating installation in areas with loose soils or rough terrain.
This upcoming industry study, Plastic & Competitive Pipe, presents historical demand data for 2003, 2008 and 2013, plus forecasts for 2018 and 2023 by market, material and resin. The study also considers key market environment variables, examines the industry structure, evaluates company market share and profiles US industry participants.
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