December 2016, Vol. 243, No. 12


Demand for Steel Pipe Nearly 80 Million Metric Tons

Special to Pipeline & Gas Journal

Global demand for steel pipe is projected to advance 3.5% per annum through 2019 to 79.7 mmta, with growth paced by continued strong increases in developing markets.

The pace of gains will decelerate from that of the 2009-14 period as construction activity slows in China and other developing countries, and as oil and gas exploration moderates in North America after a period of rapid growth. These and other trends are presented in World Steel Pipe, a new study from Freedonia Group, a Cleveland, OH-based industry research firm.

The oil and gas market is the leading application for steel pipe, accounting for over half of demand in 2014. Steel makes up the vast majority of pipe used in oil and gas transportation and especially production due to its high strength and its pressure and thermal resistance.

Steel pipe used in equipment manufacturing is expected to see above average growth through 2019. Steel pipe also sees significant use in the construction market in a variety of applications, such as conduit, sewer and drainage.

China, by far the world’s largest national market with 28% of the global total in 2014, was a primary driver of growth in steel pipe demand between 2004 and 2014.

“Through the forecast period, advances in steel pipe demand in China are projected to decelerate significantly; nevertheless, growth will remain above the global average,” noted analyst Mariel Behnke.

In contrast to slowing growth in the Chinese market, demand for steel pipe in several other countries in Asia is projected to accelerate through 2019. India will see strong improvement in growth, driven by acceleration in construction spending and expansion in its manufacturing sector, while growth in demand in Indonesia will be supported by increased output in its manufacturing sector.

The North American market contracted between 2004 and 2009 due to economic recession, but saw robust 2009-14 growth, driven by a boom in demand for pipe for oil and gas production. Through 2019, demand in North America is projected to decelerate significantly, due to a slowdown in investment in the energy sector as plans for oil and gas production and exploration were scaled back following the collapse of oil prices that began in the second half of 2014.



World Steel Pipe Demand

(thousand metric tons)


% Annual Growth
Item 2009 2014 2019 2009-




Steel Pipe Demand 52,770 67,140 79,650 4.9 3.5
North America 11,330 15,780 17,250 6.9 1.8
Western Europe 5,530 5,420 5,680 -0.4 0.9
Asia/Pacific 21,620 29,690 37,800 6.5 4.9
Central & South America 3,430 3,700 4,080 1.5 2.0
Eastern Europe 6,030 6,320 7,380 0.9 3.1
Africa/Mideast 4,830 6,230 7,460 5.2 3.7

©2016 by The Freedonia Group, a division of, Inc.



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