Germany becomes the main market
At present, Germany is the most important sales market for plastic pipes in Europe. In 2012, its consumption accounted for 13.5% of total European consumption. Russia ranks second, followed by Turkey, France and Italy. In the past, the important sales market for many plastic pipes has developed rapidly, and many Eastern European countries can benefit from it.
But now, the European construction industry is not prosperous, replacing other products has become a profit path for plastic pipe manufacturers, such as replacing metal or concrete pipes with plastic pipes, because plastics have superior performance and more options for processing. In addition, the rising prices of raw materials such as steel and copper have also created important opportunities for plastics.
At present, plastic pipes are mainly used in sewers, drinking water supply, gas supply, cable protection, and industrial and agricultural fields. As plastics gradually replace other materials and become the choice of more applications, the future demand for plastic pipes will also increase significantly. According to market research firm Ceresana, the total sales of plastic pipes in Europe in 2020 will reach about 12.7 billion euros.
Plastic pipe applications of different materials are also different. Pipes made of PVC are relatively inexpensive and are widely used in sewerage, drinking water supply and cable protection. Pipes made of PP and PE have already challenged PVC pipes in the field of drinking water. In addition, they have begun to occupy a considerable market share in the gas supply and industrial sectors.
The Western European market is relatively saturated, and the demand for high-quality pipelines such as PP and PE will continue to rise, but the demand growth rate for PVC pipelines will be quite flat. Before the economic crisis, the demand for plastic pipes in the Western European construction industry reached a record high, but such a phenomenon would no longer exist. The development prospects of individual countries are more optimistic, such as Denmark, Germany and Switzerland. However, many countries in southern Europe are unlikely to recover in the short term, such as Greece and Spain.
Compared to Western Europe, the demand for PVC pipes in Eastern Europe is relatively high. According to analysts at Ceresana, the sewer and drinking water supply sector will significantly increase the demand growth rate of PVC pipes. Russia and Turkey will be the most important growth markets.
In the next few years, the raw materials for manufacturing pipelines will be further extended to polybutene, PA, and ABS. According to analysts at Ceresana, demand for these materials will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 2.7% in the next eight years. Pipes made of these materials will be used in more specific areas such as cooling ceilings, compressed air systems, heating units and the construction of cars and ships.