Gravity Pipes Europe 2015

Paul Boughton

The current European market for gravity (non-pressure) pipes has been estimated at circa Euro 6 billion – according to a market study recently completed by Applied Market Information Ltd (AMI Consulting). Gravity Pipes – European Market 2015 is a detailed, 300-page report, complete with 157 data tables and 73 charts.

In 2015, circa 2 million metric tonnes of plastic materials – comprising PVC, polyethylene, polypropylene and ABS – will be used in the manufacture of gravity pipes.

In addition to plastic pipes, the study quantifies the demand for GRP (Glass-Reinforced Polymer) pipes, ductile iron pipes, vitrified clay and concrete pipes, thus enabling an assessment of inter-material competition trends.

“The European demand for gravity pipes is still below that of the 2007 peak”, explains Noru Tsalic, the study’s author.  “However, 2014 and 2015 have marked a reversal of trend.  The European demand has increased, though growth is still modest and very uneven across the various European regions.”

Under the study’s economic assumptions, Tsalic predicts that demand for plastic pipes will pick up in the next five years, reaching circa 2.3 million metric tonnes by 2020.  Plastic pipes suppliers will benefit from a certain recovery in construction activity, but also from continued substitution of non-plastic materials – especially vitrified clay and concrete.

Plastic pipes already dominate the market in smaller diameter pipes, but the plastic pipes industry still faces the challenge of how to increase plastics’ market penetration in larger diameters, where traditional materials still hold strong positions.

The study covers 31 European countries (ie, the 28 European Union members, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland). In addition to the geographic segmentation, it classifies demand by application, covering Sewerage & Drainage, Soil & Waste, Roof Drainage Products, Road & Railway Drainage pipes, Land Drainage and underground Cable Protection pipes.  For each segment, the study quantifies current demand, analyses trends and provides forecasts to 2020.