WASHINGTON (Feb. 24)—U.S. tread rubber shipments improved markedly in the second half of 2003 and are expected to continue growing this year as the strengthening economy sparks growth in the trucking industry, the Rubber Manufacturers Association said.
The RMA did not disclose exact tonnage or value figures but said the amount of tread rubber shipped last year was used to produce 16 million retreaded tires in the U.S., down slightly from the 2002 production estimate.
The RMA's Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee forecasts shipment growth of 2.9 percent annually through 2005. The committee consists of market analysts from the major U.S. tread rubber manufacturers, whose businesses represent more than 90 percent of U.S. tread rubber shipments.