Europe’s steel pipe mills raise output against trend

April 2017 — Upwards! This was the only direction, the global steel pipe production has been moving after the global crises 2008/2009. This unexpected trend seems to have stopped for the time being. After only marginal growth in 2015, last year saw the output go down by 3% to 164 million tons worldwide, according to data by the “Wirtschaftsvereinigung Stahlrohre e.V.” in Dusseldorf/Germany. 

The reason for this dip was the markedly lower steel pipe production in North America, the CIS and China against the previous year.  European steel pipe producers did significantly better. Across the EU steel pipe producers managed to increase their output by 4% to 14 million tons. In Germany output even rose as much as 5% over the previous year to 2.6 million tons. 

The worldwide decrease in production is mainly attributable to the lower quantities of seamless steel pipes and welded large-diameter pipes with an outer diameter exceeding 406mm. In contrast to this, steel pipe producers on a global scale manufactured approximately the same amount of welded steel pipes with an outer diameter of up to 16” in 2016 as in 2015. Whereas the EU producers succeeded in slightly increasing output in this segment for the third consecutive time, output in the USA lagged significantly behind the previous year’s figures.  The Association sees the energy industry’s sustained reticence to invest as the reason for the decrease in output observed for seamless steel pipes in all regions of the world. The drop against the previous year was particularly pronounced in the USA with 20%. Compared to this, output of EU producers was only 5% lower than in 2015. Producers of large-diameter pipes posted an 8% decline worldwide. Particularly affected in this segment were the plants in North America and the CIS, while EU producers succeeded in increasing their production by 6% after a very weak previous year.  China’s constantly growing dominance on the steel pipe market is hard to overlook. The global record output of 168.8 million tons in 2015 can therefore be attributed exclusively to the 11% production increase posted by Chinese manufacturers. With this, China’s share in global steel pipe production rose to 58%. 

Messe Dusseldorf GmbH 
Stockumer Kirchstrasse 61 
40474 Düsseldorf/Germany
Phone: +49 211 4560-01 ;

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