Imported tyre sales at record levels
Sales of non-ETRMA member produced tyres are now at record levels. That’s what the latest data published by the ETRMA in its 2012 Statistic Booklet clear shows, based on full year 2011 figures.
The data shows that tyre production in Europe increased 6.7 per cent in 2011 to 4,800,000, million tonnes but it is yet to return to pre-crisis levels. And what’s more recovery appears to have slowed from the 26.1 per cent gain main in 2010.
Latest ETRMA figures show China to be leading originator of imported tyres
One explanation for this is that the market share of EU-based producers is progressively being eroded by an increasing volume of imports, which are now twice the volume of exports. China remains the main tyre importer in the EU, whilst the EU mainly exports to the rest of Europe and NAFTA.
In fact in both the passenger car and truck sectors the market share of ETRMA members is at an all time low. The latest data shows that 77 per cent of car and light truck tyres are made ETRMA members, leaving almost a quarter of the market as imports. Of course there are variations from European country to country too, meaning certain nations – of which the UK is one – are likely to have even large proportions of imported non-ETRMA member tyres
Tyre trade flow remains unbalanced
Tyre trade flow remains unbalanced with China reportedly dominating tyre imports across all segments. The presence of tariffs on EU made products exported globally goes some way to explaining this. EU import tariffs for tyres and general rubber goods are generally between 0 and 6.5 per cent. However, the exports tariffs that EU products face in third countries have peaks as high as 40 per cent.
One example of moving in the other direction is the EU’s trade with Korea. According to the ETRMA, since the introduction of the Free Trade Agreement between the EU and South Korea exports have been steadily growing and in 2011 there were said to have been three times the volume of the previous year.
With regard to natural rubber, Europe is the second biggest consumer after China. In 2011, the EU demand of natural rubber from the tyre industry was 75 per cent.