BRUSSELS—The European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers' Association reports that 2019 tire shipments fell short of 2018 in nearly all major categories.
Only two categories showed marginal increases in shipments last year: Truck tires (up marginally) and replacement two-wheeler tires (up 2.3 percent).
Passenger tire shipments fell in both the replacement and original equipment segments, while replacement market truck tire shipments were on par with 2018 but OE shipments dropped 10.3 percent, ETRMA figures show.
Replacement passenger tire shipments fell 2.9 percent to 218.7 million units, while OE demand declined 5.5 percent to 85.8 million units.
In the truck tire segment, replacement shipments were up 0.3 percent to 12.6 million units, while OE shipments fell to 5.7 million units, the ETRMA figures show.
Replacement agricultural tire shipments fell 6 pecent to 1.18 million units, while two-wheeler tire shipments ended the year at 9.23 million units.
ETRMA figures reflect shipment data from the trade group's members, all of which have manufacturing capacity in Europe, and, therefore, do not include or reflect imports into Europe from outside the continent.
As such, ETRMA General Secretary Fazilet Cinaralp noted that "flat sales in the truck tire replacement segment shows that Chinese imports were at least partly replaced by imports from other countries, particularly South East Asia and Korea."
The European Union imposed elevated import duties on new and retreaded Chinese truck/bus tires in October 2018, ranging from 23.4 percent to 55.1 percent.
Imports of truck tires from member countries of the ASEAN trading bloc grew 215 percent in 2018 and 170 percent in 2019 and from South Korea by 117 percent in 2018 and 7 percent in 2019, the ETRMA said without disclosing exact shipment figures.
ETRMA has 14 tire-manufacturing companies among its members, companies whose corporate sales represent 70 percent of total global sales. The association's data refers to markets in 35 European countries, stretching from Ireland in the West to Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and the Baltics in the East plus Malta and Turkey.
According to the group's data, Germany, France, Italy and Turkey are the largest individual country markets for passenger tire sales, while Turkey, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom are the largest for truck/bus tire sales.