The immediate mission is to survive the mega-meltdown

Aug 01, 2009 | 05:34 AM |

While trying to gauge the extent of the construction decline can be a confusing task, one thing clear is that the steel conduit market is "in the dumps," pushed down by a weak non-residential building sector that is still trying to find the bottom, several market sources said.

Conduit demand tends to be very closely connected to non-residential construction activity, according to Christopher Plummer, managing director of Metal Strategies Inc., West Chester, Pa., although some conduit—used to protect electrical wiring from corrosion, certain magnetic fields and from physical damage — also is used in public works infrastructure construction and for apartment and other multi-family construction in certain regions of the United States.

U.S. conduit demand reached its recent peak of about 600,000 tons a year in 2000-01 before dropping significantly to slightly more than 400,000 tons in 2002, Plummer said. It remained in the 425,000- to 500,000-ton-a-year range through 2005 before picking up to just below 550,000 tons in 2007 and about 575,000 tons in 2008. But it has plummeted this year.....

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