The global polyethylene market is changing dramatically. As part of our mission to provide converters with unrivaled customer experiences, Shell Polymers is committed to keeping a pulse on pipe production trends and highlighting advancements. That way, we provide our customers with expert insights on current, credible market research.

Widely used in industries such as construction, oil, gas, agriculture and water sectors, PE pipe supports applications that use potable water, wastewater, chemicals, hazardous waste, and compressed gases. That’s why Freedonia reported that the world demand for plastic pipes rose by 6.7% in 2019 to 19.3 billion meters.1

In the United States the conversation around pipe composition is growing because the average age of its 1.6 million miles of water and sewer pipes will hit 45 years in 2020.2 Infrastructure challenges like this mean PE has the potential to replace other pipe materials such as concrete, copper, and steel because it is corrosion-resistant, recyclable, cost-effective, lightweight and flexible and has high-temperature resistance.

Upward Trends for PE Pipe in 2020

For industries on the upswing for pipes, such as construction, infrastructure, or technology, uses are trending towards larger L/D extruders and the use of bimodal technology. Research has identified a few key geographic regions experiencing growth in the PE pipe space. The continuing recovery of construction spending and housing completions will support rapid advances for plastic pipe demand in the United States.

The continuing recovery of construction spending will support rapid advances for plastic pipe demand in the United States.

In the Asia Pacific, MarketResearch.biz3 reports that the growing construction sector, infrastructural investments, and government initiatives are driving growth in various countries, including China and India. In the Middle East and Africa, they are experiencing moderate revenue growth from the increased use of PE pipe in the telecom industry.

Downward Trends for PE Pipes in 2020

Rather than using cast iron and galvanized iron, many industries are replacing systems pipes with PE pipes due to its flexibility and ductile qualities. Despite this trend, MarketResearch.biz warns that fluctuating prices of raw materials could hinder growth of the target market over the forecast period.

World Plastic Pipe, July 2015 by Freedonia Group  https://www.freedoniagroup.com/industry-study/world-plastic-pipe-3272.htm

Tabuchi, Hiroko. $300 Billion War Beneath the Street: Fighting to Replace America’s Water Pipes. New York Times, 10 Nov. 2017, www.nytimes.com/2017/11/10/climate/water-pipes-plastic-lead.html.

Key Takeaways

  • World demand for plastic pipe is rising by 6.7%.

  • Growth is forecasted to rise in many regions, including Asia Pacific, the USA, the Middle East, and Africa.

  • The PE63 grade, which is typically used for medium-pressure piping systems, irrigation systems and drinking water connections, is forecast to be the most lucrative.

  • Due to its durability and cost-efficiency, PE is becoming the preferred material for pipe

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