Japanese Tyre Output Up in February
Tyre output in Japan rose 0.3 per cent year on year in February for the first time in three months, with domestic demand rising 0.5 per cent. Export volumes declined 5.2 per cent YoY in February (which fell for the first time in 20 months in January). Analysts attribute the decline to three main factors; firstly, unusual demand for studless tires, which they believe has led makers to divert output to domestic demand, and which they also believe has now run its course.
The second factor is a shift in production bases to Thailand, Indonesia, and elsewhere in Asia and reason number three is a weakness in the core North American market, where the demand for replacement tyres fell 5.3 per cent YoY in January-February.