London--A report in today's Financial Times quotes Minekazu Fujimura, chief executive of Bridgestone Europe, saying that an explosion in tyre demand from China's rapidly expanding automotive industry was creating a severe shortage of steel cord, natural rubber and other essential raw materials across the global tyre industry.
Fujimura is quoted as saying this has led to restrictions in tyre manufacture, which has, in turn meant that tyre factories cannot meet demand, and this has allowed them to push prices up.
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FT (UK) story (Subscription required to FT)