The world pipe market is projected to expand 5.8 percent per year to 31.5 billion meters in 2015, a mild deceleration relative to the 2005-2010 period, according to a report by the Freedonia Group. Freedonia says this slowdown can be almost entirely attributed to China, the world’s largest consumer of pipe. After increasing rapidly from 2000 to 2010, Chinese pipe demand is expected to rise at about the average worldwide rate through 2015. Advances in North America, Eastern Europe and Western Europe are expected to accelerate through 2015, as these regions recover from the global financial crisis. The Africa/Mideast region and the rest of the Asia/Pacific region will also record faster growth, as local construction firms and industrial enterprises use pipe more intensely.

World plastic pipe demand is forecast to increase 7.3 percent annually to 20.3 million metric tons in 2015. Consumption of smaller-volume plastic pipe products — such as ABS, GRP and PP pipe — will expand at an above-average pace, as end-users become more familiar with their technical characteristics and performance features. Freedonia says increases in global construction activity and process manufacturing output will support growth.

The North American plastic pipe market is forecast to grow more than 6 percent annually through 2015, as product sales in the United States recover rapidly. Plastic pipe consumption in the United States is expected to increase nearly 7 percent per year during this time, after it declined dramatically between 2007 and 2009 because of turmoil in the residential construction industry and the global financial crisis. More than two-thirds of all plastic pipe demand generated during the 2010-2015 period will be attributable to the Asia/Pacific region. Several major Asian countries are forecast to record rapid growth, including India, China and Indonesia. China alone will account for 40 percent of global plastic pipe demand generated between 2010 and 2015. Growth in the Africa/Mideast, East European, and West European plastic pipe markets will accelerate through 2015. In contrast, Freedonia predicts Central and South America will register slower growth than its industrializing counterparts as advances will be measured from a fairly high 2010 base.