MRC Global InSight

Carbon Steel Pipe, Fittings & Flanges

Fittings & Flanges

As expected, demand for carbon steel fittings and flanges has remained mostly flat through the summer months, and little change to that trend is anticipated for the remainder of the year. However, even with relatively weak demand, prices have increased in nearly all product categories. Limited availability, along with strong demand in other industries, has caused pricing of raw material such as billet, bar, and coil to increase sharply. Having depleted excess inventory of raw material, manufacturers have raised their pricing to reflect these higher input costs. Limited availability of raw materials has also caused lead times to extend and supply of finished goods to become strained. As mentioned in other sections of InSight, delivery of imported products has extended as manufacturers struggle to secure available space on shipping vessels, and skyrocketing freight costs have had a significant impact on landed costs. Imported weld fittings, flanges, fasteners and gaskets have all been significantly impacted by these extended delivery times and higher logistics costs.

Line Pipe

High-frequency welded (HFW) pipe pricing has continued to escalate through 2021, predominately due to the rising cost of hot rolled coil. In the last 12 months, HFW pipe has increased by an astonishing 340%. Steel mills are reporting significant demand from other manufacturing sectors, which is causing a supply premium on their coil products. Additionally, more steel supply has come offline due to planned maintenance events in the steel mills. Elevated price levels are expected for the remainder of the year, possibly stretching into 2022.

Seamless pipe (SMLS) pricing and availability have both seen significant impacts this year. Domestic mills are booking four to five months out and are struggling to produce the full size range beyond the maximum outside diameter of 10”. Pricing has continued to move with increases in the cost of scrap, and, due to the increases in demand for seamless pipe this year, the pricing for these products has seen several increases, rising 70% in the last year. Approved import sources are now quoting close to one year delivery as lead times have been stretched due to increased demand globally. Some major projects were released earlier in 2021 and have booked much of the capacity. Supply is expected to be tight for seamless pipe due to limited capacity at existing manufacturing facilities.