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Retreaded tires, sales up +2,1% thanks to anti-dumping measures

Carlo Ferro

This is what emerged from a research by AIRP’s Observatory on sustainable mobility based on data issued by Etrma
After years of steady decline, the European retread market is finally experiencing a long-awaited rebound, thanks to the anti-dumping duties recently introduced by the European Commission on Chinese truck tires. In 2018, sales of retreaded tires within the European Union amounted to 4.54 million, up by 2.1% over 2017: This is what emerged from a research by AIRP’s Observatory on sustainable mobility (Italian Association of Tire Retreaders) based on data issued by Etrma (the European Association of Manufacturers of Tires and Rubber Products). From 2012 to 2017, the European retread market recorded a steady drop in sales, with uninterrupted and, in some cases, sharp declines (-5.7% in 2015 and -6.5% in 2016). The primary reason being the growing competition from new and non-retreadable low-cost tires. The effects of dumping practices on the Italian market were even stronger, with half of the sales volumes of retreaded truck tires being lost between 2007 and 2017.

According to Airp, the introduction by the European Union of import duties on new and retreaded tires for buses and trucks from China was the turning point on the sales boost recorded in 2018. Provisionally introduced last May and confirmed last October through Implementing Regulation 2018/1579, these duties were imposed to contain dumping practices from China, following an in-depth investigation promoted by the European Commission on August 11, 2017, which provided sufficient evidence of the existence of such dumping practices as well as state subsidies. The investigation, which took into account a three-year period, 2014-2016, revealed that a massive number of tires were imported from China with undercutting of up to 31% of market value which explains the decline in market shares and profitability suffered by tire manufacturers and retreaders within the European Union. The adoption of these duties by the EU, stated Airp, was undoubtedly the greatest announcement for the entire sector in 2018, in particular for retreaders, the hardest hit sector by unfair dumping proctices: "The impact of import duties has undoubtedly been rapid and positive - said the president of AIRP, Stefano Carloni -. In fact within a few months from the introduction of provisional duties, the first positive signs were already visible on the market, for example the demand, and consequently the value of retreadable casings, experienced a significant surge. Subsequently, we observed that even sales followed this positive trend, and now many retreaders are finally enjoying a production rebound.

We can safely say that the introduction of tariffs, which restored fair competition and a level playing field in the market, resulted in the kind of trend reversal we had hoped for". However, this does not mean that retreaders will cease working towards the promotion of a the circular economy: "Now is the time to encourage the whole industry to embrace a new production model, following European directives on Circular Models. In addition, focusing specifically on retreaders, a solid market structure is crucial for the sector as a whole, which should lead to the creation of a certification system for retreadable casings, which is unfortunately still missing, but we firmly believe that this would provide a solid foundation for the future of the retreading business, stimulating, at the same time, the competitiveness of new products," concludes Carloni.





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