Radial tyre imports surge in India
“The release of latest data on tyre imports in India shows that import of radial tyres continues unabated. While the import of Passenger Car Radials (PCR) has gone up by 20% that of Truck & Bus radial (TBR) tyres has surged by staggering 57% in the first two months of current financial year against year-ago period,” stated Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA).
In the first two months of current fiscal, 2.8 lakh numbers of TBR tyres have landed in India, an increase of 57% over 1.8 lakh TBR tyres that were imported in the corresponding months of FY16. The import figure has therefore jumped up by one lakh in a short span of two months. In the month of May alone, import of TBRs reached 1.5 lakh units which is almost 40% of the replacement demand of TBR tyres in India per month. As the truck & bus tyre segment is the single largest category accounting for over 55% of Industry turnover, the dumping of imports is having a serious and adverse impact on the domestic Industry.
“Indian tyre industry continues to be at the receiving end of indiscriminate import of radial tyres especially Truck & Bus radials. There has been no let up in dumping of tyres from China. Such indiscriminate import and dumping is hurting capacity utilisaton levels in the industry which have come down significantly over the last two years”, according to K.M.Mammen, Chairman, Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA).
China dominates as the source country for import of TBR in India. China’s share in TBR import in India has gone up to an unprecedented 95% in 2016-17. China’s share in total TBR import was 40% in 2013-14, 70% in 2014-15 and 90% in 2015-16.
According to ATMA, most of the TBR import from China is being dumped into India as TBR export prices from China are significantly lower than the prices of such tyres in Chinese domestic market and also prices of similar exports originating from countries such as Thailand and South Korea. The per unit import price from China is even less than the cost of raw materials that go into the making of the tyres.
“Tyre manufacturers in India have made major investments to the tune of Rs 25000 crore towards creating new capacities for manufacturing of state of the art truck & bus radial tyres in view of rising radialisation in truck & bus tyres. But indiscriminate import and dumping of cheap tyres from China are seriously undermining domestic manufacturing”, added Mr. Mammen, Chairman, ATMA.
According to ATMA, India’s position as a target country by China has become further vulnerable with US imposing severe dumping and anti-subsidy duties against Chinese imports to the USA. Slowdown of the domestic Chinese economy is feared to cause further dumping of tyres in India since India offers a ready and growing market with very low import duties in finished rubber products, such as tyres. Dumping of TBR tyres at such a large scale is also adversely affecting the interests of rubber growers in India as domestic NR offtake is foregone to the extent of natural rubber, as raw-material, used in manufacture of TBR tyres.
In a communication to Ministry of Commerce & Industry, ATMA has asked for quickening the process of imposition of anti dumping duty on import of Truck & Bus radial tyre imports from China.