WASHINGTON (Dec. 21) — Tread rubber shipments will fall 1.2 percent this year as off-the-road casings remain hard to find and fleets buy new trucks ahead of 2007 emissions regulations, the Rubber Manufacturers Association said.
Continued economic growth sustained high demand for tread rubber, the RMA said, but the other two factors outweighed this momentum.
But the RMA said tread rubber shipments should turnaround in 2007, increasing about 1.3 percent.
The 2006 forecast marks the first decline after three consecutive years of shipment increases, the association said. The 2006 total represents about 15.7 million tires retreaded in the U.S.