IRSG secretary-general hails tyre makers’ ‘decade of opportunity’
Speaking as principal guest at the opening of Tyrexpo Asia 2013, the secretary-general of the International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) has predicted strong global demand for tyres through the coming decade. Dr Stephen Evans said that large scale Chinese and Indian car registration growth is projected to help increase the world’s vehicle pool by more than 50 per cent in the next decade. The ninth staging of the show opened in Singapore on 19 March, with more than 250 exhibitors in tyre, rubber, equipment, machinery and accessory suppliers participating.
Dr Evans said: “Following two years of disappointing economic growth, in response to the European Sovereign Debt crisis, the weak USA economic recovery and budget issues, plus the economic slowdown in China, our latest forecasts point to a period of sustained growth and strong demand for new vehicles and tyres through the coming decade.
“Much of the demand will originate from China and to a lesser extent India, but from an overall perspective the years through to 2022 will be a period of opportunity for tyre makers and the replacement and service sectors.”
As evidence for his forecast, Dr Evans pointed to strong growth in OE and replacement tyre sales as a result of increased vehicle production forecasts. OE passenger car tyre sales are predicted to grow from 333 million units in 2012 to 524 million units by 2022, while replacement car tyre sales are projected to move from 786 million units in 2012 to 1.3 billion units by 2022.
“We believe there are currently around 1.1 billion vehicles in use around the world and predict that figure will rise to as many as 1.7 billion towards the end of the coming decade. China alone is set to reach a target of an extra 250 million vehicles over the same time frame,” said Dr Evans.
With around 70 per cent of natural rubber and 50 per cent of synthetic rubber going into tyre production, global rubber consumption is expected to follow increased tyre manufacture accordingly.
2012 consumption of 10.9 million tonnes of natural rubber for all markets (tyre and non-tyre) is forecast to grow to 17.2 million tonnes by 2022. The comparable figures for all synthetic rubber markets are 15.0 million tonnes in 2012, rising to 21.0 million tonnes by 2020.