JK Tyre CFO Sanjeev Aggarwal is making margin improvement in the face of inflationary pressures a top priority, according to a recent interview with India’s Economic Times newspaper. And therefore the company will pass on raw material price increases to its customers.
Falken Tire Europe GmbH has now announced in a letter to its business partners that it is implementing new price lists effective 1 January 2022 for both the Falken brand and for Sumitomo tyres. The price increases are considerable and extend well into the double-digit range. At the same time, the manufacturer is revising down certain price adjustments announced in September for the new year. However, both sets of price increases are limited to the German-speaking markets with Falken/Sumitomo Rubber representatives confirming to Tyres & Accessories that the price increases do not apply in the UK.
At the start of 2021 we published a headline suggesting that “shipping costs [were] temporary” and “price increases less so”. While that article was based on the latest third-party data as well as the expert opinion of a leading wholesaler, it now looks like shipping cost woes are set to continue well into 2022 and that – while they have softened recently – raw material costs will remain headwinds during the next year or so as well.
Year-on-year comparisons of financial performance tell us arguably more about global events than an individual company’s economic trajectory at the moment. Thus, it came as no surprise a few months back when Michelin reported much healthier first-half results compared with pandemic-riddled 2020. Similarly, eyebrows aren’t raised now when the company notes the impact of rising materials, shipping and energy costs as well as a shortage of semiconductors and labour shortages upon its performance in Q3 2021.
As if the Covid-related troubles combined with complex shipping challenges and rising raw material costs weren’t enough, Chinese government policy is now adding to the pressure on tyre manufacturers making tyres for export from the People’s Republic. Specifically, the Chinese central government environmental policy has led to power rationing across the country since mid-September, which has had a marked impact on manufacturing business including the tyre industry. Indeed, more than 20 tyre manufacturers have experienced power-rationing-related temporary shutdowns and/or have implemented price increases because of these product headwinds. And these are having a marked impact on tyre production.
Trelleborg Group brand Mitas has announced price increases for its motorcycle, scooter, go kart, trailer and aircraft tyres, as well as for its complete range of tubes and mousses. This increase, the second for 2021, takes effect from 1 October 2021 and is being implemented due to “significantly higher prices of raw materials and logistic services across the industry.”
Chemical and material manufacturer DuPont Mobility & Materials, which supplies tyremakers around the world, has announced sweeping prices increases globally. The price increases take effect from 1 October 2021 “or as soon as contracts allow”.
Mitas has announced price increases up to 5 per cent across all its tyre product segments. According to the company, this third price increase is driven by “escalating logistics and raw materials costs in all markets”. The latest price increase takes effect from September 2021 onwards.
Toyo Tire U.S.A. Corp. has announced that it will increase the dealer base prices across all tyre categories by up to 8.5 per cent from 1 August 2021. The tyre maker comments that the price increase “is a result of continued increases in raw materials and logistics costs.”
As the April edition of Tyres & Accessories went to press, the story of the Ever Given – the 400-metre long container ship that got wedged in the Suez canal – was getting a surprising amount of news coverage. The spectacle of a ship the length of four football pitches was enough to capture the attention of many. For others, the anecdotes of tenacious tug pilots and plucky digger drivers trying to free the gargantuan vessel from its unscheduled moorings did the trick. But for those in the tyre trade – and hundreds of other lines of work connected with global logistics – there were solid business reasons for their interest. “How many boxes have you got on the Ever Given?”, one tyre wholesaler asked. “It’s times like this…”, the other comically replied leaving the rest of his reply to the imagination.