China’s tyre makers producing more car tyres, fewer truck
Chinese tyre manufacturers are shifting away from the production of truck tyres in favour of passenger car product, according to local news sources and Bloomberg. Even with this shift, however, China’s net rubber consumption will remain flat for 2013, good news for tyre pricing worldwide.
According to Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber Co. chairman Shen Jinrong, Bloomberg reported, demand for truck tyres will fall as China moves from heavy industries to “a more consumption-driven growth model.”
The China Rubber Industry Association predicts that China’s tyre industry will use 3.25 million metric tons of NR in 2013, the report said, but its SBR consumption will climb 7.8% this year.
Slow domestic growth, high NR stockpiles and the economic turmoil in Europe have pushed NR prices down in markets in China (off 14% this year) and Tokyo (down 6.6% this year). In previous years, Chinese tyremakers devoted some 70% of their domestic production to heavy truck tyres, but that percentage is seen as shrinking.
China’s tyre output is pegged to increase by 4% in 2013, but the shift to consumer tires means that will not translate into a 4% increase in NR consumption, analysts said.