Overview by sector
Global Supply Chain
At MRC Global, we navigate a complex, global supply chain to connect our customers with the pipe, valve and fitting (PVF) products and services they need to make energy flow around the world. In this edition of InSight, we break down the many factors that could influence this complex supply chain and outline how these factors can impact your business in 2014. The information contained in the following pages is a combined effort of our key manufacturers and industry leadership. We hope you find this information helpful as we venture into what is expected to be an exciting and active year in the energy industry.
The forecasts for energy related business segments are generally optimistic for 2014, especially as colder weather conditions vacate the US. Favorable gas prices and depleted inventory levels have garnered significant attention as plans for increased drilling are expected in the second half of the year. Still, some activity levels have been dampened in Q1 2014, largely due to weather, but impending demand is expected to encourage new projects and the necessary infrastructure in the US shale plays. Similarly, expected chemical expansion projects in the Gulf Coast could increase demand for related products in that region.
In light of some expected increases in demand, MRC Global will continue to monitor any geo-economic elements and their importance to the supply chain. Generally speaking, lead times, price trends and availability for commonly sourced goods are expected to remain stable through the middle of 2014. However, raw materials and some finished product availability are expected to remain top-of-mind as regional settings dictate trade and pricing expectations. Additionally, the potential for labor shortages in various US and international markets could pose future challenges for some of the key project and energy segments we serve.
Outside of the immediate sphere of distribution influence, legislative decisions regarding the US ITC OCTG antidumping ruling is expected in the summer of 2014. Additionally, ongoing controversies surrounding the practice of hydraulic fracturing and discussions addressing LNG terminals and the Keystone pipeline are still present. While the projected impact of these or future legislative actions remain conflicted, these issues will continue to be central factors in our industry well into the future.
In this edition of InSight, we are introducing a region-specific analysis of the key international markets in which the industry, and our company, is growing. We hope that the growth of our publication to include tailored reports on the Asia Pacific/Middle East, Canada and Europe markets, proves to be valuable to you.
Lastly, we want to thank you for your continued business. We are grateful for the opportunity to play our part in the complex, global supply chain that keeps energy flowing around the world. For more information about MRC Global, please visit www.mrcglobal.com.
Alan Colonna, Gary Ittner & Rory Isaac