Date of publication: November 2015
The previous edition of AMI’s ‘European Market for Gravity Pipes’ report was published in 2012. Since then, quite a few changes have taken place in this market. In Europe, the latest economic crisis had a particularly powerful and lingering effect. The continent’s construction industry was one of the economic branches most harshly affected. The current situation appears in general somewhat better, but is extremely uneven, with some regions showing clear signs of recovery, while others remain mired in the crisis.
The report covers 31 countries, i.e. the 28 members of the European Union and in addition Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Despite politically being non-members, the last three countries are linked to the Union through various commercial agreements, as well as through tight connections of trade and cooperation, which justify their inclusion, for the purpose of this report, in the same economic area.
This relatively large number of countries poses, however, an additional problem: dealing separately with 31 sets of data is not only a very difficult endeavour, but also a rather futile one. The human mind, wonderful as it may be, cannot make sense of such a large number of data points. Readers would find it difficult to discern ‘the signal’ from amongst ‘the noise’. On the other hand, we are still keen to provide the necessary level of detail, allowing each reader to ‘zoom-in’ according to his/her particular interests. We have found the necessary compromise by dividing Europe into 9 regions; this offers a manageable number of data sets and enables an analysis that is both detailed and meaningful.
Since we did not like the rather ambiguous word ‘region’, we have resorted to the concept of Geo-Economic Segment (GES) and labelled the 9 resulting segments “A” to “I”. We have given a lot of thought to this ‘partition’ of Europe, to make it as meaningful as possible, in the context of this particular industry. The market for Gravity Pipes is influenced by many local attributes: the level of economic development, cultural preferences, customs and traditions (for instance with respect to housing), labour costs, climate, etc. We have given attention to such criteria and have grouped countries together in relatively homogeneous GES. The exact partition is described under “Scope and Segmentation”.
We have chosen to express volumes of pipe in units of length (kilometres), rather than weight. In addition to the fact that pipes are ultimately sold in meters, expressing them in units of length allows assessments market share between various materials. On the other hand, we have quantified also (in metric tonnes) the volume of resin used to manufacture gravity plastic pipes.
Gravity pipes are available in a very broad range of diameters and comparing lengths of pipes with various diameters is problematic. To try and overcome this challenge, we have also segmented the demand for Drainage & Sewerage pipes into diameter ranges.
The report is based primarily on data compiled through a programme of original research conducted throughout Europe, with more than 200 respondents drawn largely from the following types of companies:
- Construction companies and developers
- Installation contractors
- Water, sewerage and energy utilities
- System suppliers, manufacturers of pipes and fittings
- Machinery suppliers
- Raw materials suppliers
- Professional organisations