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China leads in recycling technologies

By David Shaw

That headline may come as a surprise to many. I know India has some of the best reclaim companies in the world. Indian companies have pioneered high strength reclaim and they have developed some reclaim systems which are both sophisticated and economically viable. These developments have driven higher sales of reclaimed rubber to many international companies as well as the local Indian tyre makers.David-Shaw310

Probably all readers of this column know by now that China is, by far, the largest maker of tyres in the world. China has enough capacity to make between 90 and 100 per cent of all the radial truck tyres needed in the world – that’s about 160 million units/year.

In the car and light truck segment capacity is around 500m units – only one third of total global demand. But China’s market is a little like India’s used to be. The truck segment is relatively mature while the car segment is growing fast.

For comparison, India’s tyre makers consume around one sixth of the volume used in China. That’s around 1m tonnes in India compared with 6m tonnes in China each year.

China exports something like half of its tyre production, but that still means there is a lot of material being discarded in China in the form of end-of-life tyres. On average each car in China gets through 1.5 tyres per year. That compares with 1.0 tyres per year in Germany or the UK.

(Full Text in PTA Dec/Jan issue)

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