The welded pipe market has been going through a challenging time. Demand has been recovering at a slow pace in major markets. There is also some uncertainty around the energy sector which is one of the largest consumers of welded pipes. Oil prices have started picking up and will further increase as more severe US sanctions on Iran come into force by 5th November 2018.
Trade investigations have now been a new norm where suppliers are complaining about unfair competition created in their home markets due to imports. The US, Canada, Mexico, Latin America and the EU have already taken measure to cope with the growing threat of imported materials. The recent wave of import duties has been started by the US after triggering section 232. Consequently, the import prices of welded pipes increased substantially. In the US, prices of domestically produced pipes also increased due to high input costs as prices of imported substrates (slab and plate) jumped due to 25% import duties.
Besides changes in prices, domestic supply in the US is expected to resume. For instance, Tenaris is expected to partially resume production at its electric-resistance-welded mill at Conroe which was idled in February 2015.
Meanwhile, Germany Salzgitter Mannesmann launches online bidding platform in May 2018, allowing customers to buy welded pipes in open biddings. The e-auction platform is currently available for German customers with three days delivery time. The company claims it is the first steel trading company which sells its products in an open online bidding process.
This article is based on our recently publish report “A Strategic Outlook for the Global Welded Pipe and Tube Market to 2028”.
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