Tariffs, Regulations on Agenda at Fourth Reifen China
Since 2007 the world’s biggest tyre industry show, Reifen has had an annually-held Chinese twin event named Reifen China. 25-27 November, 2010 sees the fourth “Asian Essen Tyre Show” taking place at the Shanghai New International Expo Center in Pudong, Shanghai in a joint-organised event between the China United Rubber Corporation and Messe Essen, the latter coming off the back of another successful Reifen expo in Germany back in June (see Tyres & Accessories, July 2010). As always, Reifen China will be held in parallel with the latest Rubber Tech event and cover manufacturers, distributors, repair shops, recycling, waste disposal and retreading in relation to the Chinese and wider Asian market. A programme of technical seminars will run concurrently, with past subjects including tyre proving and testing, retreading trends and tariffs imposed on exported Chinese products.
A year after the Obama administration imposed its controversial import tariffs on consumer tyres from China, the debate continues to rage as to whether the measure has allowed the US domestic industry to “make good progress”, as United Steelworkers’ international president Leo W. Gerard argues, or whether the tariffs “have had an overall negative economic impact on American consumers”, as the US-China Business Council “suspects” (You can read more on the current situation on tyrepress.com and in this and past issues of Tyres & Accessories). Tyres & Accessories reported from 2009’s Reifen China that the International Trade Commission’s decision was somewhat unsurprisingly a hot topic at the show, addressed as it was by Wang Xin of the Chinese Ministry of Finance and Commerce, and this year the show will provide an excellent outlet for discussing the decisions made by tyre-makers in the tariffs’ wake.
Of course, this is not the only pressing concern that looks likely to colour the show this year; while many expected the US decision to result in an excess of Chinese product coming onto the European market, this view did not take into account the stringent regulations in place and upcoming in 2012 when the impact of tyre labelling legislation will become apparent. In addition, recession throughout the European region and comparative growth opportunities in the Middle East and Africa – to name two regions described as first choice for some Chinese manufacturers in the light of tariffs and regulations – suggested that emerging markets could have become more important to far eastern manufacturers in 2010. December’s Tyres & Accessories will report on the latest on these issues from those present at this year’s show.
Exhibition statistics from 2009
In 2009, Reifen China hosted 7,183 visitors, with a ratio of just over 9:1 in favour of domestic Chinese visitors (which also excluded Hong Kong and Taiwan). However the 712 total visitors to have come from “overseas” territories represented no fewer than 68 countries. In addition to the usual suspects from the United Kingdom and the USA, countries such as Brazil, Indonesia, India, and Russia were represented, the latter two with full delegations, backing up the idea that emerging markets are paying plenty of attention to events occurring in China. Additionally, the strongest business type represented was Import/Export, accounting for 57.58 per cent of the visitors, while distributors made up 41.41 per cent. Manufacturing (19.19 per cent) and Academic/Research and Development (10.10 per cent) had strong showings too, while Retailers (7.07 per cent) and End Users (6.06 per cent) were in the minority. The purpose for nearly two-thirds of visitors was to look for suppliers, while other reasons given in descending order of importance were: looking for new partners, collecting market/product information, sourcing new products and consolidating contacts. Reifen China seems to be establishing itself as a centre for new business opportunities.
Exhibitors themselves in 2009 were mainly from China, with 82 of the 110 on the domestic market. 16 other countries, including Brazil, India, Germany, the UK and the USA were also present. 66 (or 55 per cent) of these presented tyres, casings and tubes, while the next two most important areas were associations, press, publishers and institutions (19, 16 per cent); and accessories (12, 10 per cent). Production, retreading and servicing equipment was presented by a further 19 exhibitors too.