World demand for plastic pipe is projected to rise 6.7 percent per year though 2019 to 19.3 billion meters, according to a new study by The Freedonia Group Inc.
Strong construction activity, particularly in the large markets of China and the United States, will boost demand as plastic pipe sees intensive use in both building and non-building construction applications. Plastic’s performance, cost, and installation advantages will also spur its increasing use over competing pipe materials such as concrete, copper, and steel. PVC is the leading resin used in plastic pipe.
The energy, agriculture, and industrial sectors tend to be less intensive users of plastic pipe than construction. However, improvements in technology and plastic materials have helped plastic pipe increase its share in many of these markets.
Although construction spending will decelerate in China, the world’s largest plastic pipe market, demand for plastic pipe in the country will still rise over nine percent annually through 2019, according to Freedonia. In the U.S., the world’s second-largest market, continuing recovery in construction spending and housing completions will support rapid advances for plastic pipe demand.
Growth in plastic pipe demand will also be robust in the developing countries of Africa, Asia, and South America due to efforts to expand access to potable water and sewage systems. According to Freedonia Group analyst Mariel Behnke, "The market opportunity for water and sewer systems is large, as a considerable share of the population in these regions does not have reliable access to drinking water supply or improved sanitation." The comparatively low cost and ease of installation of plastic pipe gives it advantages over other pipe materials in these regions.
Advances in plastic pipe demand in the more developed regions of Eastern and Western Europe are expected to accelerate through 2019, supported by recovering construction spending. Demand in both regions contracted following the global economic recession, but began to recover in 2013.
For more on the World Plastic Pipe study, visit the Freedonia Group website, www.freedoniagroup.com.