Kumho Tire Co is planning to invest some 340 billion won (£217 million; 255 million euros; US$298 million) in expanding its tyre production facilities in Vietnam. The planned investment aimed at bracing for an increase in demand from North American markets and mitigating tariff-related price pressure, according to local news sources.
The USA will continue to apply anti-dumping and countervailing duties to passenger vehicle and light truck (PLT) tyres from China. The U.S. International Trade Commission (USITC) decided against ending the charging of duties, which have applied to these products since 2015, after determining that doing so would “likely to lead to continuation or recurrence of material injury within a reasonably foreseeable time.” Unsurprisingly, the United Steelworkers union applauds the decision.
Back in April, Tyres & Accessories spoke to leading supplier of freight forwarding services to the UK tyre sector, Maritime Cargo Services about the perfect storm of circumstances complicating life for tyre importers. Then it was difficult to anticipate the logistical problems the industry would face by the end of the first quarter – at least far enough ahead to sidestep the issues entirely. Even armed with the expectation of disruption, the pressure has built at British ports throughout the year, especially in the last quarter as Covid began to spike again. As a result, Honda UK’s suspension of production became a high-profile symptom of the catalogue of issues causing bottlenecking and ultimately delays in the supply chain. With the end of the Brexit transition coming amidst the second spike of Covid-19 transmissions on 31 December, T&A asked MCS again about what difficulties distribution businesses need to plan for this winter.
The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) has again urged both sides to re-engage the Brexit negotiation process with vigour in order to achieve a satisfactory deal. Bringing its latest calculations to the table, the industry association stresses that ‘no deal’ is a high stake gamble not only for the automotive sector but also for hopes of a green recovery from the coronavirus crisis.
The UK Department for International Trade has announced a new UK Global Tariff (UKGT). Announced on 19 May 2020, this replaces the EU’s Common External Tariff on 1 January 2021 at the end of the Brexit Transition Period. As it pertains to the tyre business, while there are various categories, the announcement basically means the new UKGT sees tyre duty reduced from 4.5% to 4.0%. Camel back rubber for use in retreading stays at 0%, while duties cushion industrial tyres are reduced to 2.0% from 2.5%.
In previous features on commercial vehicle tyres, Tyres & Accessories has noted the varied effects European Union tariffs on product manufactured in China have had on the market. Questioning whether the tariffs have “worked” is a complex question, because their effect on new tye segmentation and retreads have been varied across Europe’s major markets. Truck tyre markets in France and Germany reacted in very different ways to the UK, at least partially because the latter market was contracting anyway.
Sailun Group Co., Ltd. has issued a new timetable for the completion of its project to add capacity for larger rim passenger car and light commercial vehicle tyres at its Dongying factory in China. The self-funded investment to add 15 million units of capacity will now be implemented by December 2020 rather than this year, as originally planned. According to Sailun Group, the level of investment in the project and proposed usage of the funds remains the same.
The European Union has published its definitive decision relating to anti-subsidy duties imposed on Chinese-produced truck tyres imported into the continent. This follows the EU’s final decision on anti-dumping duties, which was released on 18 October 2018. In short, the latest document (which runs to well over 120 pages) demonstrates how large subsidies have supported some Chinese tyre makers. However, it doesn’t mean the overall per tyre rate importers have to pay will change.
Having published its definitive decision on Chinese-produced truck tyre dumping, the European Union has also rejected claims that Pirelli is not related to either China National Tire & Rubber Co., Ltd (CNRC, which is owned by ChemChina) or Aeolus. Therefore, any tyres made by any of the related companies in China have to be subject to comparable import tariffs.
The Trump administration upped the ante once again in the ongoing trade war between the USA and China on 18 September with the introduction of tariffs on all US$200 billion of imports including basically all categories of tyres, retreads and inner tubes. At President Trump’s direction the additional tariffs will initially be set at 10 per cent and will take effect on 24 September 2018. However, as of 1 January 2019, the level of additional tariffs will increase to 25 per cent.
It is clear that European anti-truck tyre tariffs are already having marked impact on the shape of the market. This is putting pressure on affected importers and manufacturers alike, but – as we have seen elsewhere in this feature – it could also lead to price increases and product shortages. Here Tyres & Accessories takes a closer look at the issue and what is being done in response based on contributions of industry associations such as the NTDA and ITMA as well as key industry figures.
The EU’s decision to implement import tariffs on Chinese-produced truck tyres marks a sea-change in both the truck tyre market in general and European governments’ approach to the subject in particular. As of the 8 May 2018, truck tyres produced in China and imported into the UK have become between 52.85 euros and 82.17 euros per tyre more expensive than before. And what’s more, with product registration having begun back in February 2018, such charges look likely to be backdated to February on tyres already sold. This cannot fail to have an enormous impact, but what exactly will it mean for the truck tyre sector?
Whether you call them off-the-road, OTR or earthmover tyres, these products are some of the most valuable tyres in the market. And with good reason. Not only are they the physically largest tyre product segment on the planet, these products are often also required to endure the greatest pressures in the most unforgiving circumstances.