SINGAPORE (March 25, 2009)—The global tire market is set to decrease by about five percent in 2009 with little recovery before 2011, according to speakers at the World Rubber summit in Singapore.
Robert Simmonds of LMC International Ltd. said the global market for car tires will fall to about 1.24 billion units in 2009 from about 1.3 billion units in 2008, and 2010 will be about 1.26 billion.
In truck tires, the 2009 figure will fall 3.7 percent to 156 million units from 162 million in 2008 and rising again to 159 million in 2010, he said.
Hidde Smit of the International Rubber Study Group gave broadly similar figures. He presented a scenario based on current World Trade Organization forecasts of global growth.
This suggests the global truck tire market grew by 0.2 percent in 2008, will fall by 4.2 percent in 2009 and rebound in 2010 with growth of 7.9 percent.
In the car tire segment, he said the recession would be worse, with negative growth of 0.2 percent in 2008, falling to 5.2 percent in 2009, a further fall of 0.2 percent in 2010 and a bounce back in 2011 with 4.9 percent growth.
Both speakers emphasized that their figures are, at best, provisional. The WTO has revised its figures for global growth a number of times since the third quarter of 2008. Further revisions from the WTO would have a significant effect on the forecasts.
Both speakers said the markets of North America and Western Europe are excessively exposed to the original equipment market, and this will make the declines in those markets more serious than the global figure.
Also, both China and India are expected to see growth in their domestic markets, so this will offset the declines in the more developed markets, the speakers said.