AKRON (Dec. 15, 2009)—Chinese passenger tire imports into the U.S. fell by more than 50 percent in October from September following the Sept. 26 imposition of higher duties, according to recently released trade data.
The number of Chinese passenger tires imported in October was 1.62 million, less than half the number imported in September, according to data culled from Global Trade Atlas. It also was half the number imported in October 2008.
Imports of Chinese passenger tires started rising in July, topping 4 million units in a month for the first time, the data show, and peaking at 4.54 million and 4.41 million units in August and September before tailing off in October.
The U.S. raised duties on Chinese consumer tires to 39 percent from 4 percent Sept. 26 in response to a trade action brought earlier in the year by the United Steelworkers union. The additional duties fall to 30 and 25 percent in the second and third years of the period under scrutiny.
Despite the October plunge, imports from China through 10 months were still higher than in 2008 by more than 200,000 units—33.3 million vs. 33.1 million—and accounted for nearly 40 percent of all imports, the data show.
Overall car tire imports fell 17.1 percent for the 10-month period to 84.1 million units. Other major trading partners showing increases over 2008 were Mexico and Thailand, the data show.
The light truck tire numbers are equally dramatic. Units imported in October of 168,290 were 72.1 percent lower than the 602,339 imported in September and 60.9 percent lower than the October 2008 count, the data show.
For the year-to-date, light truck tire imports from China were down 19.6 percent to 4.4 million units, or 4.4 percent of overall imports.