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Global demand for plastic pipes to rise 6.7%

Global demand for plastic pipes is expected to rise by 6.7% per annum to reach 19.3 billion metres in 2019.

The demand increase was forecast in World Plastic Pipe, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

According to the study, strong growth of construction activity, particularly in the large markets of China and the US, will boost the demand for plastic pipes in both building and non-building construction applications.

Plastic’s performance, cost, and installation advantages will also drive increasing use over competing pipe materials such as concrete, copper, and steel.

Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is the leading resin used in plastic pipes.

The energy, agriculture, and industrial sectors are less intensive users of plastic pipes in comparison to the construction sector, but improvements in technology and plastic materials have helped plastic pipes 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 pipes in the country will still rise over 9% annually through 2019, the study states.  

In the US, the second largest market pipe market, continuing recovery in construction spending and housing completions will support rapid advances for plastic pipe demand.  

The developing countries of Africa, Asia, and South America will also see growth in plastic pipe demand due to efforts to expand access to potable water and sewage systems.

According to 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 pipes gives it advantage over other pipe materials in these regions.  

Advances in plastic pipes 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, the study concludes.