RMA: 2% rebound expected in 2013
US trade body Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) has reported that tyre shipments remained unchanged in 2012 at 284 million units, as an increase in OE shipments offset a decrease in replacement shipments. Furthermore, the association predicted a 2 per cent rebound in tyre demand during the course of 2013.
Speaking at the end of December 2012, the RMA said the lack of overall growth can primarily be attributed to continued economic sluggishness. However, an increase in vehicle miles travelled and anticipated economic growth should result in a nearly 2 per cent increase in 2013, or approximately 6 million units to 290 million total units.
Original equipment (OE) tyre shipments for both the light vehicle and commercial truck sectors are said to have increased 13 per cent in 2012 – when the full year details are all in due to increased demand for light vehicles and commercial trucks. Nearly 4 per cent growth is forecast for 2013 as new vehicle demand is expected to increase light vehicle sales to more than 15 million.
Replacement tyre shipments are calculated to have dropped to 234 million units in 2012 – a nearly 6 million unit decrease or about 2.5 per cent.
For 2013, an increase of more than 3 million units is anticipated as growth in the Gross Domestic Product and the Industrial Production Index for both the consumer and commercial sectors is projected.
Passenger OE tyre shipments are anticipated to increase to 41 million units in 2012, a more than 5 million unit improvement, or slightly more than 15 percent, as light vehicle purchases continue to increase. 2013 OE passenger shipments are expected to increase more than 4 percent or 1.7 million units. Increased OE shipments are anticipated due to projected total light vehicle sales of greater than 15 million in 2013 – about a 700,000 unit increase above 2012 vehicle sales of more than 14 million.
Light truck OE tyres are projected to increase nearly 2 per cent in 2012 to 4.3 million units as domestic vehicle production using LT tires experienced a small increase due to soft economic conditions in this sector. This category is forecast to grow by an additional 2.8 percent to nearly 4.4 million units in 2013.
“Increased demand for commercial trucks and trailers will boost commercial OE tyre shipments by more than 5 per cent for 2012, reaching approximately 5.2 million units. However, a sluggish forecast for the 2013 Industrial Production Index should limit growth in 2013 commercial OE shipments to approximately 2 per cent, or nearly 5.3 million total units,” RMA reported, continuing:
“2012 shipments will decrease by over 4 million units, or nearly 2 per cent, to 190 million units as anticipated demand failed to materialize due to continued soft economic conditions and cautious consumers. Total 2012 LT replacement shipments will be approximately 28 million, a decrease of approximately 600,000 units, or 2 percent. Little or no growth is forecast for 2013 as the economy remains soft and new light truck sales further weaken demand for replacement tyres.
“For 2012, this market is forecast to decline by approximately 5 per cent, or 900,000 units, to 15.7 million units as fleets opt for new equipment and the economy remains sluggish. However, 2013 shipments are expected to increase nearly 4 percent, or approximately 600,000 units.”