(by Paul Vivian and Rick Preckel, www.prestonpipe.com) Market Monitor <= 16” Diameter – Year-to-date through June, welded, <=16” diameter line pipe imports made up about 37% of the total import level in this product. In July and August (through 8-11) import licenses for those products indicate a 13.5% share of the total. While there is considerable time yet to cover in August, it is indicative of the impact weak drilling levels are having on this sector. >16” Diameter – Last month we reported that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to overturn a ruling by a Montana federal judge that voided a fast tracked permit that had allowed TC Energy to cross rivers, streams and wetlands with its 36-inch crude oil pipeline. The Corp of Engineers announced recently that they were reviewing pipeline water crossings and expected to complete that work by early ’21. Meanwhile, Berg and Welspun have both been awarded orders by TC Energy to produce line pipe for the project. In Welspun’s release, the Company noted that the order it was awarded was for over a million feet (>189 miles) of 36” pipe. The Berg release did not specify this information. Both Companies noted that this would keep their mills busy into 2021 and that they intend to use domestic steel to manufacture the pipe. Given the largely negative news we’ve been reporting lately, this is a welcome departure. In other news, Williams received FERC approval for the Leidy Project which is a natural gas pipeline to serve the Mid-Atlantic region. The EIA is forecasting reduced oil and gas production for ’21 which could negatively affect pipeline construction. More from the experts at our upcoming Forecasting Conference. Import Supply – The June import total was 85,848 tons which is about 5-6% below the license tally from last month. July import licenses are down to 51,479 tons. The August forecast, with 12 of 21 days summed, is back up to 82,297 tons with a mix, so far, that is seamless and LSAW heavy. The big import item for the month of June 2020 was Carbon ERW over 4 ½” not over 16” OD, with 40,589 tons, almost 3 times May’s volume. The price was $604/ton. This price is down $104/ton. Yes, you read that correctly, higher volume AND lower price.
Preston Pipe Report – The Line Pipe Market – August 2020
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