ERJ staff report (TB)
Washington DC -- US tyre shipments are projected to increase this year by about 3 percent to 267 million units, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA), after suffering an 8-percent drop in 2009 to 259.7 million units.
The latest forecast is an improvement of nearly 7 million units over that issued in November last year and reflects better-than-expected shipments in the fourth quarter. At that time the association had expected 2009 shipments to fall shy of 250 million.
The increase in tyre shipments this year reflects the onset of the economic rebound, an increase in vehicle miles traveled and a slight uptick in auto sales, the RMA said. As a result, the association expects the rebound to extend into 2011 and push up shipments 3.7 percent to 275 million units.
The projected increase in shipments will come primarily from the OE sector, where the RMA expects car maker demand for passenger tyres to rebound by more than 5 million units, or about 21 percent, to nearly 30 million units after shrinking by nearly 35 percent last year.
OE light truck tyre demand should rebound this year by about 10 percent to more than 3 million units, while truck makers' demand for OE medium- and heavy-duty truck tyres should push up shipments nearly 8 percent, or about 180,000 units.
The outlook for the aftermarket isn't quite as bullish.
Replacement market passenger tyre shipments are expected to rise only about 1 percent to 191.2 million units, after declining 2.2 percent in 2009, the RMA said.
Demand for replacement light truck tyres could drop nearly 1 percent, or 275,000 units, to about 27.3 million units. Shipments last year dropped 6.5 percent as soft economic conditions impacted small commercial vehicles, the RMA said.
The market for replacement truck tyres should rebound this year, the association said, by about 4.7 percent, or 600,000 units, to 13.5 million units as the economy picks up and more goods are shipped.
From Tire Business (A Crain publication)