(by Paul Vivian and Rick Preckel, www.prestonpipe.com) Market Monitor <= 16” Diameter – For many products the Section 232 resulted in higher domestic market shares. While this is the case for line pipe overall, it is not really the case for small diameter products. Large diameter line pipe import market share has moved from about 46% in 2017 – the year before the S232 – to just 15.5% year-to-date 2020. Small diameter market share has remained relatively flat at about 60% over those same years. The overall line pipe share has been more irregular and is a function of the segment shares and the mix between the two. Despite the fact that small diameter shipments have fallen and that drilling is picking up, it still appears we are building small diameter line pipe inventory. Part of this is attributable to the high import market share in that sector. >16” Diameter – In the large diameter segment, we wrote in our forecast issue that due to the buildup of takeaway capacity over the last few years, combined with what will likely be a decline in production, we are expected weaker project announcements for a few years. Particularly when you combine that with a new administration that is less friendly to pipelines. The chart shows the relationship between production and LOD pipe demand. The peaks and valleys represent build cycles. Import Supply – The October import total was 40,465 tons which was about 12,000 tons above the license tally from last month. November import licenses are lower indicating 33,504 tons. The December forecast, with 11 of 22 days summed, is up to 56,058 tons. The top import item for the month of October 2020 was Carbon SAW over 24” OD, with 7,515 tons. The price was $850/ton. Since this is normally project-specific, price comparisons are not always on track but this is a very low number. The YTD price average is $1,033/ton.
Preston Pipe Report – The Line Pipe Market – December 2020
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