In 2016, the steady growth in the global automobile market and the rapid growth of Chinese automobile market stimulated the tire market to recover slightly. The global tire shipment increased by 2% year on year to 1.963 billion, while China's automotive tire output edged up 1.2% to 572 million. In 2017-2020, Chinese automotive tire market is expected to grow by approximately 4%.
The operating rate of the Chinese market rebounded significantly in 2016, especially showed an uptrend in the off-season after October; in early December, the operating rates of all-steel tire and semi-steel tire plants stayed at 72.7% and 73.4% respectively, 10.5 and 7.5 percentage points higher than the same period last year each.
Under the impact of rising natural rubber (which is a raw material) price, China’s tire price has stopped falling to stabilize since the second half of 2016. Most tire companies announced to raise prices, for instance, Michelin, Bridgestone, Continental, Pirelli, Goodyear and other international first-tier brand manufacturers declared price hike at the end of December. Along with the bullish trend of the natural rubber price, tires will see a new round of price increase in 2017.
Due to anti-dumping and countervailing investigations launched by the United States, China's tire export suffered a serious setback in 2015, and the annual export volume of automotive tires dropped 4.12% year on year. The figure restored in 2016, and increased by 7.3% year on year from January to November, but the export to the US market declined. The United States will make the final ruling about anti-dumping and countervailing investigations on China's trucks and buses as well as the austerity policy of the President-elect will put pressure on China's tire export in January 2017, so the export to the US market in 2017 is still not optimistic.
As for enterprises, Bridgestone, Michelin, Goodyear, Continental and Pirelli rank the top five in the world. Amid the fast-growing Chinese automobile market, the world's major tire giants have deployed production bases in China and further increased investment in expansion over the recent two years, for example, Continental started its Phase III project in Hefei in November 2015 so as to level up the capacity in China to 14 million tyres/a, Goodyear conducted the expansion of Dalian Plant in November 2016 with a new capacity of 5 million tyres/a.
In a bid to avoid the influence of anti-dumping and countervailing investigations launched as well as trade friction by the United States on export, China's major local manufacturers have accelerated the overseas layout, such as the world's 10th-ranked and China's first-ranked Hangzhou Zhongce Rubber has set up a tire factory in Thailand, Linglong Tire’s Thai Factory Phase I was put into operation in 2016 and Phase II is under construction, Double Coin opened its first overseas factory in Thailand in July 2016.
In addition, the mergers and restructurings of global and Chinese tire companies swelled in 2016, like: Yokohama Rubber acquired ATG; Aeolus Tire took over Yellow Sea Rubber and Double Happiness Tyre Industrial;Hengfeng Tires bought the assets of Derebao and Shandong Haolong Rubber Tire. In 2017, the corporate integration trend will be more obvious.
The report highlights the following: Development, trend, etc. of global automobile industry and market; Development, trend, etc. of Chinese automobile industry and market; Development of global tire market, ranking of top 30 companies, development trend, etc.; Tire market size, ranking of top 10 enterprises by revenue and output, import and export, radial tire market development and trend, etc. in China and the United States; Market development, price trend and development trend of major tire raw materials such as natural rubber, synthetic rubber, carbon black and the like; Operation and development strategies of 27 key tire enterprises.
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