Worldwide demand for plastic pipe is forecast to increase more than 4% a year through 2007, reaching 6.3 billion meters. Gains will continue to outpace growth for overall pipe demand, as plastic pipe reaches 47% of the total, according to World Plastic Pipe, a new study from The Freedonia Group, a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

China, which already has one of the largest national markets, will record some of the strongest increases, with plastic pipe demand rising more than 8% annually through 2007. The pace of growth is expected to be less robust in the developed nations of the United States, Japan and Western Europe.

PVC is the leading plastic pipe resin in global use, accounting for more than two-thirds of plastic pipe demand by weight. Demand for high density polyethylene pipe will benefit from use as small diameter pipe in natural gas transmission, as conduit for electrical and telecommunications applications, and as corrugated pipe for drains and sewers.

World Pipe Demand is available for $5,100 from The Freedonia Group, 440-684-9600, or

Another Freedonia study, Plastic & Competitive Pipe, shows overall pipe demand rising 2.5% annually to 15.5 billion feet by 2007. Plastic pipe is expected to realize 2.9% annual gains, compared with 2.6% for copper, 1.4% for steel and 1.4% for an “other”category that includes aluminum, cast iron, concrete and clay pipe.

This study is available from Freedonia for $4,000.