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World demand to increase 6.2% annually through 2017
Global demand for plastic pipe is forecast to rise 6.2 percent annually through 2017 to 23 million metric tons, improving significantly from growth recorded between 2007 and 2012. Construction related pipe applications will offer the most impetus for growth across the board. In particular, a recovering US construction industry will drive demand gains. Plastic pipe will continue to supplant competing materials (e.g., steel, copper, ductile iron) in many construction applications due to its low cost, installation ease, and performance advantages.
PVC continues as most widely used resin
Across all years polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the leader, accounting for 55 percent of all plastic pipe demand. Nearly all end users utilize PVC to some degree. Going forward, however, high density polyethylene (HDPE) is expected to take market share away from PVC in potable water distribution applications as crosslinked polyethylene (PEX) becomes more common in many regional markets. In addition, demand for fiberglass, which has historically been limited based on its high price, is beginning to be used in a wider array of water and wastewater settings.
Demand gains in terms of weight will benefit from plastics’ increased acceptance in larger diameters. The majority of large diameter plastic pipe is found in infrastructure applications, such as potable water transmission and sewer and drainage networks. In many developed countries, decaying infrastructures will drive sales gains. As replacement activity picks up, many countries will utilize plastic pipe primarily because of its lower costs and ease of installation. Among developing nations, investment in establishing local water and wastewater infrastructures will stimulate demand.
Growth in manufacturing, oil/gas industry to benefit plastic pipe demand
While plastic is not as widely utilized in the oil and gas market, improvements in resin formulations have enabled plastic (particularly HDPE and fiberglass) to increase its market share in recent years.
In process manufacturing applications, HDPE’s greater flexibility has resulted in its increased usage. Fiberglass is utilized in the process manufacturing market when particularly hazardous materials are present. Going forward, demand is expected to benefit from gains in manufacturing output and growth in crude oil and natural gas production and consumption, including increases in exploratory, well drilling and pipeline construction activity.
This upcoming Freedonia industry study, World Plastic Pipe, is priced at $6300. It presents historical demand data (2002, 2007, 2012) plus forecasts for 2017 and 2022 by market, resin, world region, and for 39 countries. The study also considers market environment factors, evaluates company market share, and profiles 37 industry competitors.
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