BEIJING—In the years since the U.S. imposed antidumping and countervailing duties on imports of consumer tires from China, tire makers in that nation have shifted their overseas sales strategies to a wide span of other destinations, with the United Kingdom as the No. 1 market.
Prior to 2015, when the U.S. imposed import duties on passenger and light truck tires from China, shipments of passenger and light truck tires from China exceeded 58 million units, good for more than one-third of all imports.
By 2020 that number had dwindled to less than 4 million units, according to U.S. Department of Commerce data.
According to data from China's General Administration of Customs (GAC), Chinese tire makers last year exported 118 million passenger car tires during the first half of 2021, valued at $2.9 billion.
Of those exports, 8.6 million—or 7.3 percent—were shipped to the U.K., which has become the No. 1 passenger tire export market for China. The exports carried a value of $204 million, according to the GAC.
Saudi Arabia and Australia were the Nos. 2 and 3 destinations, at 5.36 million and 4.11 million units, respectively. The exports were valued nearly equally at roughly $134 million, the GAC data shows.
On the commercial tire side, the U.S. continues to be the No. 1 export destination for truck and bus tires from China, although shipments have dropped considerably since the U.S. imposed import duties on this category in February 2019, according to GAC data.
China's truck and bus tire exports during the first half of 2021 amounted to 51 million units, worth $3.7 billion.
The largest market during this period was the U.S., with 8.47 million units shipped, valued at $276 million. These exports accounted for 16.6 percent of total exports, the GAC data shows.
Mexico and Saudi Arabia were the Nos. 2 and 3 export markets, with 2.65 million units ($201 million) and 2.08 million units ($168 million), respectively.
Exports to the U.S. fell from a high of 9.22 million units in 2018 to 1.38 million units last year, following the imposition of elevated import duties on the products in early 2019.
Despite the decline, China still was the No. 2 source of imported truck/bus tires in 2020, but further declines in the first six months of 2021 have dropped China to the No. 5 source of non-domestic TBR tires.
This report was compiled by Bruce Davis, Tire Business staff, and Jane Ho, China correspondent for European Rubber Journal.