Press Releases


AMI, Bristol, 24/11/08 – Applied Market Information Ltd. (AMI) has just released the 2008 edition of its “European Hot & Cold Water Pipes” study.


In metres, plastic pipes account currently for 55% of the European market, up from only 45% in 2003.  The substitution trend was accelerated by considerable increases in the price of metals (copper in particular).  However, AMI points also to additional drivers, such as plastic pipes’ consistently good track record in use.  The growing preference for underfloor heating also means more demand for plastic pipes, since plastic systems will continue to dominate this segment.  Underfloor heating is overall cheaper and more environmentally friendly, compared with alternative heating techniques.  It is also being stimulated by European and national legislation aimed at improving energy efficiency.


The volume of plastic pipes sold in Europe grew by an average of 7.4% per annum between 2003 and 2007, while metal piping declined in both market share and in absolute terms.  Currently, the market is negatively affected by the slump in construction, but AMI forecasts a return to growth in 2010.  “New residential building has shrunk considerably, especially in countries like Spain, UK and Ireland” says AMI’s Noru Tsalic, the study coordinator.  “On the other hand, the new non-residential and the renovation sectors are proving more resilient”. 



The inter-material competition in the hot & cold water segment is not limited to plastics versus metals.  The trends are markedly different if one looks at  the various plastics systems, such as crosslinked polyethylene (PEX), polypropylene random copolymer (PPr), polybutene (PB), Chlorinated PVC (cPVC) and polyethylene of raised temperature resistance (PErt).  The most impressive growth was achieved by multilayer plastic-aluminum pipes, which grew on average nearly 16% per annum between 2003 and 2007.

Investment in technology and innovation continues in the sector.  New systems are designed for faster, cheaper and more reliable installation.  Manufacturers benefit from improved performance in machinery and raw materials.  New hydronic technologies use thermal mass activation and geothermal heat pumps to optimise indoor micro-climate, while minimising the use of energy.

AMI’s study analyses the main drivers governing this exciting market, in both qualitative and quantitative terms.  It uses that understanding to generate forecasting models for the next interval.


‘European hot and cold water pipes” is a detailed multi-client research report published in November 2008. For further information please contact Noru Tsalic at AMI: or +44 117 924 9442