BRUSSELS—Tire production in Europe increased in 2014 to the levels of 2011, the best year after the worldwide economic crisis, according to the Statistics 2015 report from the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association.
Despite this, the global increase in the tire market in 2014 benefited tire imports more than tires manufactured within the European Union, the ETRMA said.
“This is particularly evident for truck and bus tires,” the ETRMA said in a Dec. 16 news release. “The total EU market grew by 15 percent, whilst ETRMA members' EU-produced tires sales decreased by 1 percent.”
Retreaded tire shipments decreased for the fourth consecutive year in the EU in 2014, and in 2015 are expected to plunge a further 10 percent to 4.2 million units, the ETRMA said.
China remains the main tire importer to the EU, and is growing steadily, according to the report. EU tire makers export mostly to Eurasia and North America, it said.
Production of general rubber goods was slow in 2013 but became positive again in 2014, according to the ETRMA.
“The first three GRG producers in the world remain European, and their sales keep growing steadily,” the association said.
The EU's GRG trade balance is increasingly positive, but imports still nearly double exports in the EU GRG market, the ETRMA said.
The full ETRMA report can be found at http://www.etrma.org/statistics-2.