Japanese Tyre Production to Fall 5%
Reuters reports published online today suggest that Japanese production is to fall 5 per cent in 2009. The story cites a Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association forecast that in terms of rubber usage tyre manufacturing would take a considerable hit in the following year.
Despite Japan’s status as the world’s third biggest rubber consumer (following China and the USA), tyre output may fall to 1.28 million tonnes, representing a year-on-year decrease of 5 per cent from 1.35 million in 2008 according to JATMA. Domestic auto sales are likely to drop 7 per cent with expected sales of 4.7 million vehicles next year.
Meanwhile, Yukinori Hashimoto, Sumito Rubber Industries’ tyre planning and coordination department assistant manager and the person responsible for compiling JATMA’s report, told Reuters that, “We don’t expect demand for replacement tyres to fall as much as that for new tyres… Sales of winter tyres fell in double digits in November, when economic deterioration affected employment and spending here. But we expect a narrower decline in sales next year.”
The report also estimates that exports will be down 8 per cent on 2008 to 69.1 million tyres, while domestic demand will total 121.9 million, a reduction of 6 per cent Y-O-Y.