High density polyethylene used in pressure-rated pipe continued its three-year rebound in 1994, growing at 10 percent, according to the Plastics Pipe Institute. PPI, a unit of the Society of the Plastics Industry Inc., said 626 million pounds of HDPE went into pressure pipe, up from 571 pounds in 1993. The number, which does not include the sizable corrugated drainage pipe market, has been growing steadily since 1991, a year that ended a several-year period of mild up-and-down dips.
The 1994 growth was slower than 1993, when overall PE pressure pipe grew by 17 percent.
The rate of growth slowed in every pipe category except one, water pipe, the smallest but strongest-growth market for PE pipe in 1994. Water pipe grew by 13 percent after several fairly flat years. PPI said 68 million pounds of PE went into water pipe in 1994, up from 60 million pounds in 1993.
PPI provided the following breakdown of 1994 consumption:
Municipal gas distribution pipe grew by 11 percent, to 200 million pounds, from 180 million pounds in 1993. This type of pipe, used to deliver natural gas from mains into residential areas, consumes nearly one-third of all PE that goes into pressure pipe, the largest single category.
Industrial/mining pipe, which had been the fastest-growing category in recent years, cooled a bit to 7 percent growth in 1994. This segment used 105 million pounds of resin in 1994, up from 98 million pounds in 1993.
Pipe for oil and gas production grew by just 2 percent, to 92 million pounds, from 90 million pounds in 1993.
Sewer/drain pipe recorded a respectable 10 percent gain, reaching 75 million pounds, from 68 million pounds in 1993.
An ``other'' category consumed 86 million pounds of resin, a 15 percent increase from 75 million pounds in 1993. This segment includes telecommuni-cations, ducting, conduit and miscellaneous products.
PPI's statistics committee generated the numbers using data voluntarily submitted by companies plus resin statistics from SPI and other sources. The report includes data from twenty reporting companies and an estimate for industrywide consumption.
PPI gave the following distribution breakdown for pressure-rated PE pipe: gas distribution, 31.9 percent; industrial/mining, 16 percent; oil/gas production, 14.7 percent; sewer/drain, 12 percent; and water, 10.9 percent.
Because of incomplete participation by industry, PPI believes about 81 million pounds of PE pipe, tubing and conduit was not reported in 1994.
PPI and SPI are both based in Washington. A copy of the report costs $50, $25 for members. Contact PPI at (202) 371-5358.