As the price of copper remains high this year, pipe processor Uponor (Vantaa, Finland) says it is seeing a speed up of migration to the use of plastics and composite pipe systems for potable water as a copper replacement. Uponor, which just reported first-half sales up globally by 11.7% and profits jumping 23.5% in this period, nevertheless says that all its markets have remained profitable with the exception of North America, where the construction industry is on the skids after a long period of new housing starts.
The company is seeing more demand for pipe coming from Central Europe and Germany while Scandinavian demand for housing has sustained its market position there. The highest rise in building industry demand is being recorded in Russia, the Baltic countries, the U.K., and Spain.
Jan Lång, Uponor president and CEO, says the short-term outlook for the construction markets remains relatively stable with no big changes in sight for the rest of the year.