According to Bipaver, the number of truck tyres retreaded in Europe has fallen by a third in the last five years, and it fears this trend will continue unless the European Commission moves quickly to implement legislation that protects against the dumping of low-priced new tyres.
The European retreading association shares that approximately 4 million truck tyres are now retreaded in Europe each year, down from 6 million per annum five years ago. On the other side of the scales, imports of cheap new tyres have increased from 1 million pieces a year to around 5 million a year during this same timeframe. These imports are overwhelmingly replacement tyres, and now account for around half of all European replacement market truck tyres. The total European truck tyre market currently stands at approximately 17 million pieces per annum, the association writes.
“Over the last five years the Chinese tyre industry has been dumping truck tyres in the European market. Today the prices of most of their products sold in the EU-28 have fallen below the manufacturing costs of retreaded truck tyres,” reports Bipaver. “Market conditions have worsened quickly over the last year mainly due to an increase of anti-dumping regulations in neighbouring continents.”
Bipaver’s efforts to protect Europe’s retreaders, including the more than 400 Small to Medium Enterprise (SME) companies it represents, haven’t yielded the hoped-for results: “After more than a year asking the Directorate-General Trade to consider our case and presenting several solutions, both technical and legislative, it has become clear that the European Commission is not able to defend our industry due to the lack of legislation for this specific situation within the retread industry. At a time when the EU is discussing opening even further the EU market to imports from diverse exporting countries and when its citizens are questioning the European project, the retreading industry cannot understand the added value of a European trade policy if they are not able to defend their own SME industries.”
In order to address this situation, Bipaver “strongly advises Commissioner Cecilia Malmstrøm to reassess what the EU can or cannot do in the coming weeks in order to establish a level playing field and safeguard our industry and its SMEs in particular.”
The above information from Bipaver was shared by association member the Tire Retread & Repair Information Bureau.