India’s monthly truck bus radial tyre imports record a new high averaging 1.2 lakh
The Dollar Business Bureau
Due to an increase in dumping from China, India’s monthly imports of truck and bus radial tyres (TBR) recorded new highs averaging 1.2 lakh units in 2016-17. This has prompted the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) to reiterate its demands to DGAD seeking an early imposition of anti-dumping duty on the imports of TBR from China.
Seeking an early redressal to help the domestic industry ATMA revealed the alarming figures that have been spiralling in the last few years. In its statement to the government, it said that the monthly numbers have now touched an average of 1.2 lakhs units in FY17 from a mere 40,000 in FY14. Imported tyres account for 40% of the replacement demand for the tyre industry, which at one point of time served as its turning point. But subsequent indiscriminate imports have tipped the scales for the domestic tyre producers in India.
Also the expansion in capacity utilisation levels have decreased to 60-65% from 80-85% ATMA’s senior sources revealed.
ATMA has also alleged that much of the imports of TBR is being handled by small private operators who are lured by the low export prices of tyres from China, Thailand and South Korea, leading to a dumping in the market.
What is ironical is that India’s import duty on rubber is 25% while that of tyres imported from China attracts a mere 7% duty. China is the major supplier of TBR taking nearly 92% of the share which increased from 40% in FY14. Dumping of tyres on such a large scale is affecting both the tyre industry as well the rubber growers in India. Though domestic rubber output has surpassed the target set by the Rubber Board for 2016-17, at 6.90 lakh tonnes compared to 6.54 lakh tonnes produced in 2015-16, it still falls short of the consumption demand by the truck and bus tyre industry which is met by the Chinese imports.
In its communique to the Ministry of Commerce ATMA has expressed the concern that “with the devaluation of Chinese Yuan, the Chinese Truck & Bus Radials (TBR) tyre imports would further increase. This will exacerbate the ‘crisis like’ situation faced by the industry as imports have come to account for 30% of the domestic TBR market.” ATMA has therefore asked for taking precautionary measures so that unbridled imports of tyres could be halted.
According to ATMA, the Indian tyre industry has made huge investments of over Rs.25,000 crore in recent years in Greenfield and Brownfield radial tyre manufacturing within the country. Notwithstanding such investments, the industry is faced with indiscriminate import of tyres from China.