Planning for Success in a Turbulent Market
We are grateful for the confidence that our customers place in us so that they can focus on their core businesses.
Welcome to the latest edition of InSight, our long-standing publication that delivers product lead times, pricing trends, raw material data and global commentary on market conditions for pipe, valves and fittings (PVF) products.
Since our last publication in November 2021, our industry – in fact, our world – has faced one challenge after another. The global supply chain continues to buckle under the strain of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, inflation and geopolitical conflict. Lockdowns in key markets, labor shortages, raw material availability, production delays and transportation bottlenecks have resulted in extended lead times and pricing challenges for nearly all PVF product groups.
The aftershock from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the embargoes that followed have created unprecedented volatility across the entire PVF supply chain. These two countries are significant producers of many raw materials, including copper, nickel, molybdenum and natural gas. As you will read in the following sections, the throttling of supply has spiked the price of carbon steel, as well as many stainless and high nickel alloy products. Navigating through this turbulent market has been challenging. At MRC Global, our teams continue to work closely with our suppliers, leveraging our scale and relationships to mitigate as much of this pressure as possible for our customers.
Despite continued supply chain disruptions, the industries we support are experiencing an uptick in activity. Well completion activity is on the rise, which will create the need for additional pipeline infrastructure. Gas utilities remain busy with integrity projects, and we anticipate incremental activity will result from the new pipeline safety requirements that the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA)* issued. The drive for renewables and lower carbon fuels has shifted industry trends to energy transition projects and decarbonization efforts, including biofuel conversions, hydrogen, carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS), wind and solar. MRC Global has the inventory position and technical expertise to support this growth and to help our customers successfully maintain their supply chains despite market volatility.
As we move forward together through this demanding market, proper planning will be critical. Whether developing internal project timelines or bringing a product to market, we encourage customers to engage our team of experts early and often for optimum results. Our mission is strong: to deliver superior service to our customers around the world and provide innovative supply solutions to enhance our customers’ operations. We are grateful for the confidence that our customers place in us so that they can focus on their core businesses. We are proud to be the experts you can trust.
*Read about the new PHMSA requirements in our Additional InSight section.
Pricing and lead time information contained in this publication is current as of June 30, 2022. It is difficult to predict market changes, lead times and pricing trends in such a volatile and inflationary market; however, MRC Global remains vigilant and can provide requested updates to our customers as information is available.