Plastic Pipes Market in Latin America - Rising Demand for Drinking Water and Agricultural Drainage to Buoy the Market Growth

Plastics October 01, 2018
Author: Sergey Avramenko
Head of Global Markets Research Team

IndexBox has just published a new report "World - Plastic Tubes, Pipes And Hoses, And Fitting Therefor - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights". Here is a summary of the report’s key findings

Plastic Pipes and Fittings Market in Latin America Continued to Decline

In 2017, the volume of the plastic tubes, pipes and fittings consumption in Latin America stood at approx. 2.0B tonnes. After a noticeable growth in 2008, the volume of consumption dropped dramatically the next year, continuing to grow moderately over the next three years (IndexBox estimates). It was until it slipped back again in 2013 with a further decline through to 2017. The reduction in recent years was due to a slump in oil drilling projects hampered by low oil prices and a subsequent slowdown of the economy of Latin America. In value terms, the market stood at $9.0B in 2017, which was almost 5% less than the year before.

Brazil Consumed Alone 61% of Plastic Pipes and Fittings Market in Latin America

In 2017, the leading consuming markets were Brazil (61% of total consumption), distantly followed by Mexico (10%), Argentina (8%), Colombia (7%), Ecuador (7%), Guatemala (4%) and Costa Rica (3%).

From 2007 to 2017, plastic tubes, pipes and fittings consumption In Latin America annually grew by a healthy +2.0%. The highest annual growth rates of product consumption from 2007 to 2017 were recorded in Ecuador, with +13.0% growth. Colombia (+2.2%), Brazil (+2.2%) and Argentina (+1.4%) experienced more modest paces of growth, while Mexico reduced it by an average -1.4% per year.

The Plastic Pipes and Fittings Market Is Set to Achieve Moderate Expansion

Plastic tubes, pipes and fittings constitute are currently widely used in the construction, agriculture and industrial sectors to convey drinking and wastewater, as well as chemicals, heating and cooling fluids, foodstuffs and vacuum system applications. Therefore, the market development is commonly conditioned by an overall economic performance; the growth of a country's GDP, accordingly, acts as an indicator of the dynamic of plastic pipe markets.

According to the IMF forecast, the economy of the Latin American region continues to recover from the decline in 2015–2016, when many oil-producing countries in the region suffered from falling oil prices. In subsequent years, growth is forecast to accelerate to 2.5% in 2019 and 2.6% in 2020, which is expected to be primarily due to increased private consumption, as well as a gradual recovery in investment activity in the largest economies – Brazil and Mexico. On the other hand, the growth of the regional economy is subject to significant risks, such as financial instability (which is especially true for large oil exporters), the growth of public debt in the Caribbean, weak labour productivity, and political uncertainty. All these factors will hold back growth prospects for the region’s economy.

In the medium term, the recovery of the economy of the Latin American region will remain the main factor to stimulate further market growth: this will promote construction and agriculture. The enhanced creation of drinking water and sanitation systems will also encourage the further growth of the plastic pipes market. Furthermore, any further improvement of the oil market will also contribute, the plastic pipe market growth, as oil and gas and mining companies, are now considering the increased use of special plastic pipework systems as a contemporary alternative to steel pipes, in a bid to enforce potential cost-cutting measures.Driven by the economic recovery in the region, which stimulate growth in construction and agriculture, the market of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings is expected to begin an upward consumption trend over the next eight years. The performance of the market is forecast to increase slightly with an anticipated CAGR of +1.8% for the eight-year period from 2017 to 2025, which is projected to bring the market volume to 2.1M tonnes by the end of 2025.

Production of Plastic Tubes, Pipes and Fittings in Latin America Continues to Decline Amid Weak Oil and Gas Sector

Production of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings in Latin America stood at 2.0B tonnes in 2017, which was 151.6K tonnes (or 7%) less than the previous year level. Overall, there was a notable decline from 2012, with a slight rebound in 2015. The decline in production volume was attributed to a drop in demand from the oil and gas sector due to a fall in oil prices, which was the reason for freezing a large number of investment projects in the oil and gas industry. Over the past nine years, the largest output of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings was noted in 2008, when production more than doubled due to a significant increase in output in Brazil, the largest producer in the region.

Brazil Produces 61% of the Plastic Tubes, Pipes and Fittings Output in Latin America

The country with the largest production of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings in absolute volume was Brazil (1.2B tonnes), growing by +2.2% per year, over the last ten years. Brazil’s production assumed 61% of total production.

Mexico (196K tonnes) occupied the second position in the ranking, with a 10% share, followed by the Argentina (166K tonnes), Colombia (139K tonnes), Ecuador (138K tonnes), Guatemala (70K tonnes) and Costa Rica (64K tonnes), making up 35% of global production.

Amongst these countries, the most notable rates of growth with regard to plastic tubes, pipes and fittings production from 2007 to 2017 was attained by Ecuador (+13.0% per year), while the other producers experienced more modest paces of growth, except for Mexico, which declined its production by an average -1.5% per year

Approx. 31% of Consumption Is Dedicated to Imports

The shares of imports in total consumption of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings in Latin America amounted to 21% in 2017, compared to 31% in 2007. This share declined significantly in 2008 as a result of a pronounced increase in production, which led to a decrease in the relative share of imports in consumption to 12% in 2008. In subsequent years, the share of imports has consistently increased. The largest importer, Mexico, purchases plastic tubes, pipes and fittings mainly from the USA, as well as from France and China.

Mexico Remains the Major Supplier of Plastic Tubes, Pipes and Fittings in Latin America

In 2017, the volume of the total exports in Latin America totaled 193K tonnes, contracting slightly over the last two years. It was preceded by a decelerating growth over the period from 2010 to 2015, with only mild fluctuation in 2014. From 2007 to 2017, exports grew by an average annual growth rate of +3.2%. In value terms, exports stood at $867M, remaining relatively stable from the year before. In 2016, it declined abruptly by 12.9% after a steady growth from 2010.

Mexico (59.3K tonnes) was the largest exporter of plastic tubes, pipes and fittings in Latin America, accounting for 31% of total exports. Mexico was distantly followed by Guatemala (26.4K tonnes), Brazil (23.6K tonnes), Argentina (20.8K tonnes), Colombia (19.8K tonnes), Costa Rica (15.8K tonnes) and Chile (10.3K tonnes). These six countries together made up 60% of the total exports of Latin America.

From 2007 to 2017, most of the major exporters experienced positive dynamics; the highest annual rate was observed in Guatemala (+6.5%) and then Mexico (+5.1%), Brazil (+5.0%) and Argentina (+4.0%). By contrast, exports from Chile declined with a CAGR of -3.9% per year.

The shares of Mexico (+5 percentage points), Guatemala (+4 percentage points) and Brazil (+2 percentage points) increased from 2007 to 2017, while Costa Rica (-2 percentage points) and Chile (-6 percentage points) saw their shares reduced. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable throughout the period under review.

The Largest Importer - Mexico - Weakened Its Positions Noticeably

The volume of imports totaled 419K tonnes in 2017. There was a significant decline in imports from 2008 to 2009 with a further growth over the next five years, levelling off through to 2017. In value terms, imports reached $2.4M in 2017, expanding with a CAGR of 4.2% per year, over the last ten years.

In 2017, Mexico (201.1K tonnes) constituted the leading destination for plastic tubes, pipes and fittings imports, comprising 48% of total imports in Latin America. Honduras (21.9K tonnes) hold the second position in the ranking, and then Peru (19.4K tonnes), Chile (17.9K tonnes), Brazil (15.0K tonnes), Nicaragua (14.0K tonnes), Costa Rica (11.6K tonnes), Argentina (11.2K tonnes), Colombia (10.6K tonnes), El Salvador (10.2K tonnes), Panama (9.0K tonnes) and Guatemala (7.7K tonnes) with another 35%.

Amongst the major importing countries, Mexico recorded a negative dynamic (-5.5% per year), while most the other countries experienced moderate growth from 2007 to 2017. Over the same period, high annual growth rates were recorded in Colombia (+11.6%), Chile and Guatemala (+8.0%, each).

The share of Mexico reduced from 69% in 2007 to 48% in 2017, while the shares of Honduras, Chile, Peru, Nicaragua and Colombia increased slightly. The shares of the other countries remained relatively stable over the last ten years.

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Source: "World - Plastic Tubes, Pipes And Hoses, And Fitting Therefor - Market Analysis, Forecast, Size, Trends and Insights"