Infrastructure, export demand boost Poland’s seamless pipe output

Seamless pipe production in Poland saw a 4.6% year-on-year increase in 2011, thanks to infrastructure projects in the country and demand for the product outside its borders, an official from Polish pipemaker Alchemia.

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Total production came to 165,400 tonnes in 2011, compared with 158,200 tonnes in 2010, Alchemia sales manager Przemyslaw Musial told the Rynek Stali conference on Wednesday November 7 in Poland’s Silesia Voivodeship.

The volume is, however, 22.7% lower than the 213,900 tonnes produced in 2007, according to Musial’s figures.

In 2011, seamless pipe exports rose by 50% year-on-year to 108,600 tonnes from 72,500 tonnes, due to what Musial described as high demand for Polish-produced pipes.

But imports also rose in 2011, by 25% to 160,100 tonnes from 128,200 tonnes, Musial said.

Apparent consumption increased by 1.4% to 216,900 tonnes, from 213,900 tonnes in 2010.

Outside Poland, production of seamless pipe continued to grow worldwide in the early years of the global recession, and even exceeded pre-crisis levels, Musial said.

Global production in 2010 totalled 34.6 million tonnes, up by 21.2% from 28.6 million tonnes in 2009, he said, citing the Steel Statistical Yearbook of 2011.

China was the world leader in seamless tube production in 2010, with more than half the total output at 25.3 million tonnes, Musial noted.

Seamless pipes are used for transmission of liquids and gas as well as structural supports in some construction applications.

Alchemia has four plants in Poland. Huta Bankowa produces crude steel via two electric arc furnaces, and rolls seamless pipe, while Rurexpol only rolls seamless pipe. The group’s Kuznia Batory unit produces forged steels, while Huta Bankowa produces sections.

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