Jim Olsztynski 0000-00-00 00:00:00
THIS ‘N THAT… ValvTechnologies recently closed on the purchase of a warehouse on adjacent property for a future expansion that’s not yet determined. The space, formerly owned by a printing and supply company, includes offices and more than 20,000 square feet of warehouse and manufacturing space. Including this, ValvTechnologies’ total Houston manufacturing facilities now exceeds 125,000 sq. ft. On more than 20 acres of land. Charles D. Sheehy Inc. (Avon, MA) joined the Embassy Group, effective July 1. Started in 1951, Sheehy is a family-owned PVF distributor now owned by the children of co-founder Arthur Sheehy, Kevin Sheey and Kathleen Camuso. Evraz Inc. NA announced an internal reorganization of its operations into three major product groups — flat, tubular, and long products. The Tubular Products Group produces steel pipe used in energy applications. It includes pipe mills in Regina, SK; Calgary, Red Deer and Camrose, AB; and the seamless pipe mill in Pueblo, CO. Evraz has promoted Rob Simon, who most recently managed Evraz Rocky Mountain Steel, to Executive VP, Tubular Products Group. The PVF Roundtable scheduled the second annual Don Caffee Memorial Golf Tournament, named after its late secretary-treasurer, for Sept. 10 at Longwood Golf Course, Cypress, TX. Contact Tom Pettit, email@example.com. Stritt & Priebe, (Buffalo, NY), a PVF supply & repair company, hired Richard Schneider as quality assurance/control and safety manager. He has more than 22 years of management and process experience. Also, Stritt & Priebe’s Valve Repair Team hired Vince Sidoni as a control valve and instrumentation technician and Stephen Harling as a journeyman machinist/ valve technician. Sidoni spent 32 years as an instrumentation technician at E.I. DuPont. Harling served five years in the Navy and 10 years in the Air Force Reserves as a machinist repairman. Welcome to this first installment of “PVF Beat,” a streamlined way of providing people in the PVF sector of the industry with a monthly summary of some of the most newsworthy and/or interesting information that impacts their business. Don’t look for long-winded essays here. We aim instead to provide you with the essence of what’s going on, and whenever possible will direct you to other sources for further details. PVF Market Survey A market conditions survey included with the PVF e-News of June 24 revealed PVF manufacturers and distributors with generally improving sales but margins squeezed like a toothpaste tube. Among manufacturers, master distributors, distributors and reps responding, 56% indicated increases in sales during the first half of 2010 compared with the same period of 2009. Of those, 30.5% said sales were up more than 10%. Another 25.6% reported sales declined more than 10%. Respondents generally felt upbeat about prospects for the second half. More than half, 57.8%, expected sales to rise in the second half vs. the second half of 2009, including 30.8% who predicted increases of more than 10%. Gloomy prospects were foreseen by 14.5% of respondents who said they expected second half sales to decline by more than 10%, and 19.3% who predicted a drop of between 1-10%. A query about margins found 48.2% of respondents saying they were “slightly below what we planned,” while another 21.7% said they were “far below” their plans. On the positive side, 28% of respondents said margins were “slightly above” plan, while only a single respondent indicated margins “far above” expectations. A question about lead times elicited the following responses: • “We’ve run into a few problems with longer delivery lead times” — 42.7% • “Most delivery lead times are running about normal” — 40.2% • “We’ve run into many problems with longer than usual delivery lead times” — 13.4% • “Most delivery lead times are faster than normal” — 3.7%. China To Build City-Sized Factory A report from the AP wire service said that Foxconn Technology, a supplier to Apple Inc., is getting ready to build a huge new factory in north-central China that will employ some 300,000 workers. The article noted that a spate of worker suicides occurred at another enormous Foxconn complex in the industrial boomtown of Shezhen, drawing attention to the stress faced by workers at these sites. Shameless Self-Promotion PVF e-News is a twice-monthly e-newsletter written and edited by me, and subscribed to by more than 6,800 PVF industry citizens. You can check out past editions at www.supplyht.com — visit the “PVF e-News Archives” in the left-hand column. To subscribe, go to the right-hand column and click on the PVF e-News logo. It looks like this. Also, most of you will find this month’s In Closing column enlightening. Go to page 63 and read “Nuclear Phobia Must End.” OCTG Analysis Here’s a summary of a report by Research and Markets: “Global OCTG (Oil Country Tubular Goods) Market: An Analysis.” “The global market for oil country tubular goods (OCTG) has grown at a notably strong rate over the past few years, mainly because of the surging demand for oil and natural gas coupled with their rising prices which have resulted in increased investment in the energy exploration and production activities. Global demand for oil/ energy is anticipated to increase from 2,000 million tons of oil equivalent to 16,800 in 2030. About 93% of this increase in demand is expected to come from key emerging markets — China and India. “The demand of OCTG rose significantly as drilling activity increased in response to the rising prices of oil and gas. As a result, producers favored increased OCTG output over standard and line pipe. The oil and gas drilling remains strong although there have been some signs of slowing. As a result of the increase in the demand for energy across the globe, especially within the emerging economies, a rise in the number of oil and gas exploration projects is expected and that would boost the demand for the OCTG. “At present, the majority of energy demand is resulting from the transportation industry and industrialization in emerging economies, especially China and India, which are experiencing a strong increase in national wealth due to improving economy. These are a few of the factors that are fuelling the demand of energy, and driving the global OCTG market at the same time.” For more information, visit: http://www.researchandmarkets.com and search for Global OCTG. IPD’s 2Q Commodity Report One of the more valuable benefits of membership in ASA’s Industrial Piping Division is the quarterly commodity reports compiled by members of the IPD Executive Council. Based on extensive research and feedback from customers, suppliers and other sources, the IPD Commodity Reports examine different PVF sectors in extensive detail. Those details are available only to the members, but we can share with you the following capsule summaries. Carbon Steel Pipe — Overall demand for domestic pipe products in the energy sector continued to increase through the first half of this year compared to the last two years, while the standard industrial pipe markets remained weak to tentative. Most domestic manufacturers reported a 30% gain in energy sector sales compared with Q1 2009, although most standard line pipe distributors did not see a similar gain. Most likely, this was due to increased exports owing to favorable exchange rates combined with increased demand in the energy sector, especially shale drilling for natural gas. Pricing increased more than 14% for domestic pipe products this year, while imported standard line pipe ERW prices increased by as much as 40%, with most offers topping $1,000 a ton as of the end of the first quarter. Carbon Forged Steel Fittings & Unions — So far this year, there has been improvement in demand but no indication or support for a further uptick in the third quarter. Carbon Steel Weld Fittings & Flanges — Mill prices so far this year have held without any significant changes for distributors in the carbon steel flange and fittings market. However, at mill level, that hasn’t been the case. Mills over the last several months have been incurring hefty price increases of raw materials but have been timid to pull the trigger on an increase especially in a U.S. marketplace that is still relatively fl at. Carbon Welded & Seamless Pipe Nipples — Welded pipe nipple increases in the second quarter appear to be sticking and spreading among competitors. Copper Tube & Fittings — Unprecedented price volatility has been seen in commodities over the last few years with copper particularly subject to violent swings. Evaluating the conditions that are driving the direction of copper’s price up or down in the 2nd quarter of 2010 has recently become more complex with the economic events now unfolding in China, Greece, Spain, and Portugal. Stainless Steel Pipe, Fittings & Flanges — Nickel and therefore stainless prices have gyrated wildly, though it’s interesting to note that prices as of the end of April were about the same as they were at the same time two years earlier. That’s when the market suddenly began enjoying improved demand conditions. By the end of April, nickel was 2010’s best performer among all commodities as the rapidly rising price levels — nearly 15% in April alone and 60% since early February — were supported by decreasing exchange stocks and increasing global production levels of austenitic stainless steels, indicating that soaring material prices were not mainly driven by technical buying. Performance summaries and outlooks for grooved and malleable iron fittings, valves and plastics are additionally included in the 1Q (February) and 3Q (August) reports. For more information about IPD, visit IPD@asa.net, or e-mail Executive Director Chris Murin at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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