Steel no longer the material of choice in $3.3B water pipe market consultant

Oct 01, 2009 | 09:46 AM |

Water line manufacturing might be a crazy market but in times like these, when everything goes topsy-turvy, sometimes you need to be, well, a little crazy.

While there are a fair number of steel tubular manufacturers, very few are in the business of making water lines. That business decision has allowed plastics to dominate the market. And while the wisdom of this choice can be argued on both sides of the equation, the bottom line is still the bottom line and the decision to exit any market can add up to a lot of lost revenue.

"Generally, water work is not terrible and it's not fantastic," said Paul Vivian, principal at Preston Publishing Co., a tubulars research firm in Ballwin, Mo., noting that the margins for water line manufacturing are much thinner than those for energy tubulars.....

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