World demand to rise 6.8% annually through 2017
Global demand for water pipe is forecast to increase 6.8 percent per year through 2017 to almost 14 billion meters, an acceleration from the pace of the 2007- 2012 period. Advances will result from two key factors: in developing nations, access to water supply and sanitation will be increased; in developed nations, a rebound in construction spending will boost demand for building pipe. Plastic pipe will post the strongest gains, as these types continue to displace concrete and metal materials in a range of markets, particularly water distribution.
China to claim half of all new water pipe demand
China alone is forecast to account for one-half of the increase in global water pipe demand generated between 2012 and 2017. The country’s vast population makes infrastructure and sewage system development a necessity, supporting demand by households that previously did not have a piped water supply. Other industrializing countries in Asia, such as India and Indonesia, and in the Africa/ Mideast region will also contribute to overall water pipe demand.
Building to remain leading global water pipe market
Among markets, building will remain the leading market through the forecast period. Recovery in the US economy, especially a rebound in US housing starts, will boost demand for water pipe. Gains in sewer and transmission applications will be prompted by expansion of water supply services, access to which in many countries remains considerably low, due to a lack of funding. In the least developed parts of Asia and Africa, market gains will continue, but even a robust level of growth will leave several hundred million people without access to safe water or even minimal sanitation facilities.
Plastic to be most rapidly growing water pipe material
Plastic pipe will experience the fastest growth through 2017. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) will remain the leading plastic resin due to its use in small diameter applications in the potable water distribution and irrigation markets. HDPE pipe will supplant concrete, PVC, and steel pipe in drainage, storm sewer, and potable water applications. Concrete pipe will benefit from increased infrastructure spending, and copper pipe will benefit from a recovery in construction spending. However, gains for both materials will be adversely impacted by competition from plastic pipe.
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