Soaring import of Chinese tyres, especially those that find use in trucks and buses, could spoil domestic tyre manufacturers party. Rising 38 per cent in the first quarter, Chinese tyre imports are finding takings because they are 25 per cent lower than the domestically produced ones. It should not come as a surprise that the import volume of tyres in truck and bus (T&B) segment rose 25.3 per cent in the first quarter of this year on an annual basis. Of concern is the fact that T&B segment tyres account for around 60 per cent of domestic tyre industry’s revenue. The 138 per cent year-on-year rise in Chinese imports in the T&B segment in the first quarter of this fiscal to Rs 230 crore accounts to around 80 per cent of the total segment imports. Imported T& B radial tyres are priced 25 per cent lower than domestically produced ones. Working in the favour of the Chinese onslaught is the fact that radial tyre capacity expansion undertaken by most domestic tyre manufacturers is only expected to yield results by 2017 fiscal. Domestic T&B production declined 5.5 per cent year on year in FY15 to 11.5 million tyres.

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