SOUTHHAMPTON PARISH, Bermuda (March 5)—Replacement demand for radial off-the-road tires has reached a watershed, with radial sales expected to account for 50 percent of the U.S. aftermarket this year, according to industry data. The shift to radial in both the OE and replacement markets is a positive sign in an otherwise shrinking industry. U.S. replacement demand for OTR tires fell 2.4 percent last year, to 136,175 units, after slipping 6.6 and 6.4 percent the previous two years, according to data present at the Tire Association of North America Off-The-Road Conference held on Bermuda. Shipments are expected rebound this year, by about 2.5 percent, and in 2003, by 1.25 percent, according to Rubber Manufacturers Association forecasts. Original equipment demand fell 13.1 percent last year to 58,371 units.