Analysis of the plastic tube market

This development is also supported by survey results provided by the Deutsche Vereinigung für Wasserwirtschaft, Abwasser und Abfall e.V. (DWA), the German Association for Water Management, Waste Water and Waste.

They show that the share of plastic tube systems in the material distribution in German drainage networks increased in 2004 as compared to 2001 from 2.3 percent to a total of 6.0 percent. Concrete / reinforced concrete, fibrated cement and cast steel remained at steady levels considering all nominal diameters. At the same time, the share of vitrified clay tubes in the network material distribution was reduced from 44.2 percent to 40.0 percent. The volume increases of plastic tube systems in newly installed and reconstructed pipelines are estimated to have been even higher, since the numbers only consider the existing network.

Also in residential technology applications, there was a positive development for plastic tubes in 2006. Plastics tubes were able to capture some of the market share of copper piping in residential drinking water installations and improved by approximately 2 million metres, or a plus of 2.2 percent. According to the KRV, significant amounts of installed plastic tubes are used in the area of premises and building technology for area heating and cooling, which in total is estimated to represent about 65 percent of the German plastic tube production for premises and building technology.

Guarded Optimism for the Future
During the first quarter of 2007, plastic tube system production increased by 9.6 percent or 13,000 tons as compared to the comparable period of the previous year. At the same time, the growth of the materials used in pipe system production continued for polypropylene with a rate of 48.1 percent, for the polyethylene with 24.8 percent and for PVC with 12.2 percent. KRV Association members state that the production increases mainly flowed into waste and supply tubes.

Before the backdrop of the US real estate finance crisis, the German plastic tube industry approached the second half of 2007 with guarded optimism. In conjunction with the rising oil prices and the increased export costs caused by the low Dollar vis-?-vis the Euro exchange rate, the KRV fears an accelerated weakening of the German economy. On the other hand, the market penetration of plastic tube systems in all areas of application and the development of new market segments continues nevertheless. One example is the area-wide introduction of gas pipes into residential installations, which could provide the industry in this sector with robust growth rates.