PVC pipe market predicted to accelerate in the United States

PRW magazine have reported that plastics are forecast to see the fastest growth rate of materials used to make large diameter pipes in the US over the next few years. According to leading international business research company, Freedonia Group, demand for plastics pipe is set to rise from around 12.5 million metres in 2007 to around 16.5 million metres in 2012. This growth of over 5.5% per annum is an acceleration of the rate of 3.4% shown in the 2002-2007 period.

Plastics is growing much faster than other materials such as concrete, which is the dominant material but is set to rise by only 2.0% per annum to 36.4 million metres in 2012.

The total US market for large diameter pipe is predicted to reach 68 million metres in 2012, increasing at a rate of 2.7% per annum from around 60 million metres in 2007. Freedonia is expecting a rebound in US construction, which will underpin demand for pipe.

Storm sewers will remain the leading large diameter pipe market, although better growth is anticipated in natural gas and drainage/irrigation applications, said Freedonia. The research group has explained that the "excellent performance" of HDPE pipe in gas distribution will be a major factor in the gas market growth, as will increased exploration and drilling activity.

The strong growth anticipated for plastic pipe is in light of resin and machinery improvements, as well as good joint integrity, excellent corrosion resistance and flow rates, and lower installation costs. Freedonia says that market penetration by plastic pipe will be helped by resin advances - for example bimodal polyethylene and molecularly oriented PVC - which will extend the pressure resistance and other properties of large diameter plastic pipe.

The group expects the best opportunities for large diameter PVC pipe.