PHILADELPHIA—Growth in the global markets for rubber tires and retreads, hoses and belting, sealants and other rubber-based products is speeding up, according to research by Business Research Co.'s report "Rubber Products Manufacturing Market Global Briefing 2017."
Rising at 3.5 percent annually to 2016, when it was worth $411 billion, the market now is expanding at more than 5 percent per year and will be worth $507 billion by 2020, according to the report. Tires are the biggest-selling products, accounting for nearly three-fifths of the market and worth $240 billion in 2016.
Asia is both the biggest and fastest-growing region for the rubber products market, accounting for 40 percent of the total in 2016 and currently growing at 5 percent year-on-year. Within Asia, China alone is worth17 percent of the global total. India's market, worth 6 percent of the total, is rising faster than China's at about 10 percent per year.
The character of the Asian market is changing, shown by the March 2015 purchase of Pirelli by China's China National Chemical Corp. (ChemChina), according to the report. The acquisition was aimed at giving ChemChina access to the technology to make tires for the Chinese market.
Bridgestone Corp., Michelin, Goodyear, ChemChina and Yokohama Rubber Co. are the big five manufacturers in the market, with shares adding up to 20 percent of the global total in 2016.
Computer simulation and 3D printing technology are having a significant impact on the rubber products manufacturing industry, according to the report. Software-aided systems offer 3D presentations on production line processes, including potential fault lines and also provide control over the manufacturing process. 3D printing technologies allow manufacturers to produce automotive tires that can be customized to different levels of hardness and elongation. In March 2016, Goodyear introduced the Eagle-360, a 3D printed spherical tire that promises 360-degree motion.
The report is available for $1,000 at Business Research's website.