One of the more valuable benefits of membership in ASA’s Industrial Piping Division is the quarterly commodity reports compiled by members of the IPD Executive Council. Based on extensive research and feedback from customers, suppliers and other sources, the IPD Commodity Reports examine different PVF sectors in extensive detail. Those details are available only to the members, but we can share with you the following capsule summaries.
Steel Pipe - Overall demand for domestic pipe products in the
energy sector continued to increase through the first half of this year
compared to the last two years, while the standard industrial pipe markets
remained weak to tentative. Most domestic manufacturers reported a 30% gain in
energy sector sales compared with Q1 2009, although most standard line pipe
distributors did not see a similar gain. Most likely, this was due to increased
exports owing to favorable exchange rates combined with increased demand in the
energy sector, especially shale drilling for natural gas. Pricing increased
more than 14% for domestic pipe products this year, while imported standard
line pipe ERW prices increased by as much as 40%, with most offers topping
$1,000 a ton as of the end of the first quarter.
Forged Steel Fittings & Unions - So far this year, there has been improvement in
demand but no indication or support for a further uptick in the third
Steel Weld Fittings & Flanges - Mill prices so far this year have held without any
significant changes for distributors in the carbon steel flange and fittings
market. However, at mill level, that hasn’t been the case. Mills over the last
several months have been incurring hefty price increases of raw materials but
have been timid to pull the trigger on an increase especially in a U.S.
marketplace that is still relatively flat.
Welded & Seamless Pipe Nipples - Welded pipe nipple increases in the second quarter
appear to be sticking and spreading among competitors.
Copper Tube & Fittings -
volatility has been seen in commodities over the last few years with copper
particularly subject to violent swings.
conditions that are driving the direction of copper’s price up or down in the 2nd
quarter of 2010 has recently become more complex with the economic events now
unfolding in China, Greece, Spain, and Portugal.
Steel Pipe, Fittings & Flanges - Nickel
and therefore stainless prices have gyrated wildly, though it’s interesting to
note that prices as of the end of April were about the same as they were at the
same time two years earlier. That’s when the market suddenly began enjoying
improved demand conditions. By the end of April, nickel was 2010’s best
performer among all commodities as the rapidly rising price levels - nearly 15% in April alone and 60% since early February -
were supported by decreasing exchange stocks and increasing global production levels of
austenitic stainless steels, indicating that soaring material prices were not mainly
driven by technical buying.
and outlooks for grooved and malleable iron fittings, valves and plastics are
additionally included in the 1Q (February) and 3Q (August) reports. For more
information about IPD, visit
http://www.asa.net/Membership/SpecialInterestGroups/IndustrialPipingDivision, or e-mail Executive Director Chris Murin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
IPD's 2Q Commodity Report
August 1, 2010