On 19 January, the European Commission extended anti-dumping duties on aluminium road wheels from China for a further five years. The extension follows an expiry review investigation, which showed that these wheels continue to be dumped on the EU market and that industry within the European Union would suffer significant harm if the measures were allowed to lapse.
The European Commission has provisionally recalculated anti-Chinese-produced truck tyre import tariffs to between €21.12 and €61.76 per tyre, equating to a reduction of between 0 and 51 per cent, depending on the manufacturer. Consultation on the provisional recalculation is now open until 23 January, before the final determination will be made on 25 January 2023.
During June Vaculug invited partners, suppliers and media to a high-profile event in Oxford based at the former prison (now Malmaison hotel) and including an exclusive dinner within one of the Oxford University colleges. The overall message is clear, the company is not only reaching out in the increasingly post-Covid environment – its growing team of experienced key industry personnel is positioning itself to capitalise on the company’s status as one Europe’s largest independent tyre retreaders.
On 17 August, Sumitomo Rubber (China) announced that the company is ending the sale and production of truck tyres in China. From 2023, the company will no longer produce and sell truck and bus tyres for the Chinese market. From April 2024, Sumitomo Rubber (China) will no longer manufacture truck and bus tyres for overseas markets.
South Africa is currently contemplating anti-dumping tariffs for tyres imported from China, and an investigation is currently in its preliminary phase. A healthy head of steam has already built up on both sides of the argument, with the recent debate including a claim from the Tyre Importers Association of South Africa (TIASA) that the tariffs will simply result in Chinese imports being substituted for tyres from Europe or Japan. The South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC) has issued a statement countering assertions such as this.
On 8 July 2022, the European Commission (EC) re-opened its anti-dumping and anti-subsidy investigations relating to the imports of Chinese-made truck tyres [Regulation (EU) 2018/1579 and Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2018/1690]. The latest move follows the judgments of 4 May 2022 in joined cases T‑30/19 and T‑72/19.
On 4 May 2022 the European Court of Justice ruled that anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs imposed against Chinese produced truck tyres in 2018 must be annulled. We take a close look at the ruling and the immediate impact on retreaders and Chinese tyremakers alike from page four of June’s bilingual Retreading Special supplement onwards. But what about the tariffs charges that have already been paid? And what about the ongoing impact of the tariff annulment?
The European Court of Justice’s (ECJ) judgement that the European Union’s anti-dumping and anti-subsidy tariffs should be annulled has been welcomed by many of those responsible for distributing these products across the continent. Yet for importers of these products in post-Brexit United Kingdom, the truck tyre tariffs introduced by the European Commission appear to be persisting. Speaking to representatives of the Imported Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ITMA), the association whose members are most directly concerned with these tariffs, Tyres & Accessories now understands that the UK’s Trade Remedies Authority (TRA) does not intend to annul the tariffs since the ECJ’s judgement does not apply legally in the UK, even considering the view that the tariffs were implemented improperly under EC law. It follows that the status quo on these tariffs will be maintained, at least until the TRA reaches tyres in its review of the lengthy list of trade remedies inherited from the UK’s time as a member of the EU. Until such a review takes place, the tariffs will continue to apply until at least November 2023, and UK importers are effectively blocked from joining European colleagues in ending and recouping duties found to be improperly implemented.
Linglong Tires has confirmed earlier reports that trial tyre production at the company’s Serbia tyre manufacturing plant will commence by the end of the first half of 2022. In other words, the first tyres will roll off the Chinese tyre manufacturer’s Serbian production line by the end of June. Mass production is the next stop. However, since the first date refers to trial production, Tyres & Accessories understands that it will take till around August for the factory to achieve more deliverable output volumes.
China’s economy appears to have stalled since 2022. Recent data shows that the value-added of the manufacturing fell by 4.6 per cent year-on-year in April. An integral part of the national manufacturing machine, China’s tyre industry is also under pressure. “The most important task of our enterprise at this stage is to survive,” one Shandong tyre factory owner told Tyres & Accessories.
The Zhongce Rubber Group (ZC Rubber) was excluded from the list of applicable companies in the European Courts of Justice’s 4 May 2022 ruling annulling import tariffs against truck tyres produced in China. Reading the small print of the ruling reveals why. The initial ruling didn’t completely apply to ZC Rubber and so action against it couldn’t be annulled. In other words, the latest anti-dumping annulment is inadmissible for ZC Rubber, because nothing was applied in the first place.
On 25 April 2022, the UK Government announced a further tranche of trade sanctions against Russia. The new sanctions, which were introduced by International Trade Secretary Anne-Marie Trevelyan and Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak, include import bans on silver, wood and high-end products like caviar. At the same time, the government has raised tariffs by 35 percentage points on items from Russia and Belarus, including diamonds and “rubber products”. Additional duties of 35 per cent were already introduced on “new pneumatic tyres, of rubber” on 25 March 2022.
The chief executive officer of Michelin’s Europe North Region has spoken out against “cheap products from Asia and their dumping prices.” In an interview with German newspaper Bild, Anish K. Taneja, who also serves as the president of the German Rubber Manufacturers Association (wdk), emphasised that tyres such as these are not environmentally sustainable, nor are they sustainable for consumers or for local jobs.
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.
Vietnamese officials have interpreted the US Department of Commerce (DOC) anti-dumping investigation preliminary conclusions as “very positive” for Vietnam-produced car tyres. There was even hope that cooperative Vietnam-based tyre manufacturers Local newspapers read this mean Vietnamese tyre factories had been “cleared” by the investigation.