World tube production rises, 2024 outlook promising: ITA

Following a slight downturn in 2022, global production of tubes and pipes rebounded last year and is expected to maintain an upward trend this year, according to the International Tubes Association (ITA).

While 2022 saw a decrease of production by 3.1%, 2023 brought what ITA calls an “impressive recovery,” with an estimated year-on-year increase by 15% to around 170 million tonnes, Kallanish learns from extrapolated figures. ITA notes that “forecasts for 2024 are also encouraging.”

The federation points to substantial regional differences and diverging trends. The USA saw an output increase by 18%, with strong growth in all product dimensions, driven by a strong economic environment.

China, which represents more than 50% of world tubes production, reported a further increase of 13%, which was far more than the overall economic growth of the country. India saw an irregular development, with a downturn in the first half by 22% y-o-y. That was then more than offset in the second half, resulting in the full year ending up 12% versus 2022.

Europe lost a significant amount of its production capacities in H2 2023 due to Vallourec’s shutdown of its major European production facilities. These capacities need to be replaced by other mills, as far as is technically possible. Some tube customers are having problems finding adequate alternatives, ITA notes.

In the CIS, output rose by 77% most likely due to Russian import substitution by local production. Contrary to that trend, production of welded tubes of less than 406 mm outside diameter dropped by 24%, ITA points out.

Christian Koehl Germany