Profitable polymers: growing market for plastic pipes

Ceresana has analyzed the global market for plastic pipes, pipe components and fittings.
KONSTANZ, Germany - Dec. 6, 2023 - PRLog -- Things are looking up again for manufacturers and distributors of plastic pipes: the current year already promises a recovery. The latest edition of the market report "Plastic Pipes - World", which is now in its sixth edition, forecasts average growth of a good 3% per year. However, the outlook varies greatly from region to region. In Western Europe, demand for plastic pipes is not expected to exceed the 2021 level until 2025. North America, on the other hand, is setting a faster pace. In the USA the government is currently investing large sums in the infrastructure of the future, for example USD 15 billion in replacements for old lead potable water pipes alone.

Nothing works without pipes

The industry analysis of the global market for plastic pipes now also includes a breakdown of sales in USD for the various application areas. Demand is growing most strongly in the areas of "potable water" and "agriculture". For the agricultural sector alone, Ceresana expects global demand for plastic pipes to increase by around 3.8% per year until 2032. The increase in extreme weather phenomena, whether heavy rainfall or drought, makes more efficient, more powerful water pipes necessary. Dense, low-loss plastic pipes not only help to protect the environment in wastewater disposal, drinking water and gas supply. The switch to renewable energies and the development of hydrogen networks require new pipes. Plastic cable protection pipes shield fiber optic networks, power lines and other electrical cables against damage without requiring a great deal of maintenance. Compared to metal or concrete, plastic pipes are more durable, corrosion-resistant and resistant to many chemicals.

Specific plastics for any pipe requirement

Various types of plastic are used for the different application areas, from civil engineering to buildings and industrial plants. Classic PVC pipes made of polyvinyl chloride are still used in large quantities. PVC is also chlorinated (PVC-C or CPVC) for better flexibility and heat resistance. However, the controversial plastic PVC is increasingly facing competition: polyethylene pipes, for example, are very flexible and hardly susceptible to cracking making them ideal for gas pipes and industrial applications. PE-X, also known as XPE or XLPE, stands for "cross-linked polyethylene", which is particularly flexible and durable. The market for heat-resistant polypropylene pipes and for the collective category "pipes made of other plastics" is currently developing most dynamically. These include, for example, highly impact-resistant and temperature-resistant ABS pipes made from the engineering plastic acrylonitrile butadiene styrene. Increasingly, recycled plastics and bioplastics are also being processed into pipes.

Further information about the market study "Plastic Pipes – World" (6th edition):

Martin Ebner
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