Pipes and tubes are an important part in our surrounding. Pipe of all types and sizes is critical in building, construction, chemical, energy, and other industrial applications. The pipe and tubes industry is expected to experience considerable change and varying growth rates in these uncertain economic times. The global export market of the steel pipes is stated to be close to $27 billion a year with the US, Western Europe, Australia, and Japan being the biggest importers. India is one of the major exporting nations including Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand.
Steel pipe industry in India consists of firms mainly engaged in manufacturing seamless or welded steel pipes or tubes or ferrous metal pipe or tube fittings. Growing oil and gas demand across the world and the zeal with which oil companies are investing on adding pipeline infrastructure promise higher revenues for Indian steel pipes makers. A huge pent-up demand for pipes has cropped up over the last few months. For the refining industry, pipes are the most economical way to transport oil and gas.
Considering the quantum and nature of consumption, the major end-uses of seamless tubes/pipes have broadly been classified under the following heads: Oil and gas exploration, tool jointing material, refinery, anti-friction bearing industry, industrial boilers, anti-friction bearing industry, power boiler industry, automobile, earthmoving machinery, fertilizers, miscellaneous industries etc.
The building & construction industries along with the oil & gas sector are the major market places for pipe. With the construction market booming and further development of new markets
for steel pipes ranging from commercial framing to water pipes, the future of steel tubing industry certainly looks bright. Significant consolidation and rationalization of excess capacity has occurred in some segments, while cost containment and improved process and quality control measures have led to productivity gains and quality improvements across the entire pipe industry.
The five major steel producers in India include Steel Authority of India (SAIL), Tata Iron and Steel, Jindal Vijaynagar Steel (JVSL), Essar Steel and Ispat Industries.
The coming years will see production of more petroleum products and electrical energy are expected to pick up to meet the domestic demand and sustaining future supplies which would require heavy investment in E&P activities and power projects which would drive the demand for seamless pipes and tubes. In order to exploit the full potential of the domestic as well as overseas markets, the Indian pipe manufacturers should focus on continuous quality. Apart from that the feasibility of infrastructure projects in ports, roads, airports and railways with private-sector majority ownership is already in the pipeline.