MRC Global InSight

General Products

Demand for high density polyethylene pipe (HDPE) and fiberglass products continues to be soft in the U.S. Surpluses in 2019 have carried over into 2020. This year, the COVID-19 pandemic has negatively impacted demand, as a result numerous projects that were previously confirmed for 2020 pushed back to 2021 as the world tries to adjust to the changing landscape in 2020.

Current lead times for small diameter pipe are stock to two weeks. Lead times for larger than eight inch are running between three to five weeks. Pricing has been regressing since 2019, and the same trend continues in 2020. Minor price increases could occur later in the year but without demand and volume from CAPEX projects those increases are unlikely to stick. Fiberglass pipe pricing remained flat in 2020 and is expected to hold at least through the end of the year.

PPE manufacturers are working diligently to supply the healthcare sector during this time. As a result, lead times for non-healthcare orders are delayed, and shipment quantities have been reduced.

However, we are beginning to see some improvement. Impacted materials include (among others):

  • Masks
  • Face shields
  • Protective gowns/coveralls
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizers
  • Disinfectants/bleach
  • Disinfecting wipes