Research Report on Tire Export in China, 2017-2021
China's tire export dates back to 1952. In the early days, exported categories were mainly truck tires, light truck tires and agricultural tires with diagonal patterns. Now, there are over 1,000 varieties of 5 major series, namely, truck tires, light truck tires, sedan tires, engineering industrial tires and agricultural tires with diagonal and radial patterns. Export destinations have expanded from Southeast Asia, Middle East and Africa to developed countries and regions such as North America and Europe. China has become the world's largest manufacturer, exporter and consumer of tires. However, up to 1/3 of its tires depend on import.
China has a complete tire industry mechanism. Except for natural rubber which mainly relies on import, other materials involved in the industry, including synthetic rubber and additives such as carbon black and zinc oxide can be produced by many manufacturers in China. Chinese manufacturers are also good at producing carcass materials such as steel wire, and rubber machinery such as mixer, calender, molding machine and vaulcanizer (mold).
In 2016, China's tire export reached CNY 468.48 million, increasing by 5.4% YOY. Export value was USD 12.89 billion, decreasing by 6.9% YOY. Average unit export price was USD 27.52, decreasing by 11.65% YOY. Affected by the decreasing price of natural rubber on the international market in recent years, the manufacturing cost of tires has been declining, so the average unit export price of tire has been declining as well.
In 2016, tires from China were exported to more than 200 countries and regions with the U.S.A. being the largest market. The value of tires exported from China to the U.S.A. was USD 2,102 million, accounting for 16.3% of China's total export value of tires in the same term.
The U.K. was the second largest market. In 2016, the value of tires exported from China to the U.K. was USD 541 million, accounting for 4.2% of China's total export value of tires in the same term.
Mexico, Australia, the UAE and Germany were also important export destinations of tires from China.
Tires exported to the U.S.A. were mainly radial tires for passenger vehicles between 15 and 16 inches. China's export price of tires of that size is 80% of the average export price, still lower than the prices of other countries. Tires imported from China ranked the first in terms of all sizes of imported tires for passenger vehicles in the U.S.A.
Since China joined the WTO, the rapid growth of tire export has resulted in more trade barriers, posing severe challenges to manufacturers and exporters in China. For one thing, the U.S. and European countries have set stricter technology standards for imported tires. Meanwhile, the increasing market share of tires exported from China harms the benefits of some tire manufacturers. A price war breaks out among Chinese tire exporters. The structures of exported tire products and the market are improper. These all lead to serious problems faced by Chinese tire exporters. China's large scale of tire export has triggered several countries to undertake sanction measures such as anti-dumping.
In 2017, China's tire export will remain dim. This is mainly due to the slowing growth of the global economy and the increasing international trade barriers. For another, China's is faced with heavy inflation pressure, bringing up the cost in the tire industry and consequently reducing the competitiveness of Chinese exports.
China's tire export is also affected by trade conflicts. Take tires for passenger vehicles as an example. In 2011, the value of tire export to the U.S.A. dropped sharply to USD 968 million due to the tariff imposed on Chinese tires. It takes three consecutive years for China's tire export to the U.S.A. to quickly rebound.
In 2016, production and sales of automobiles grew rapidly and automobile reserves in China kept increasing, making Chinese tire enterprises to focus more on domestic market. They must adjust export structure, improve technology and increase added value of exported products. At the same time, they should create more comparative advantages and adopt more effective measures to encourage export.
Overall, China's position in the global tire market is irreplaceable and will remain in the first place in the short run given its advantages in industry chain and costs.
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