With the latest statistics showing no let up in surging imports of truck & bus radial (TBR) tyres in India, the domestic industry has asked for urgent safeguard measures. TBR tyre import has gone up by 30% in the first half of the current financial year as against the corresponding period last year.
Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) has alleged that dumping of radial tyres from China has reached unprecedented levels.
Import of TBR tyres has crossed the level of 1.4 lakh units per month in FY17 from 40 thousand units per month in FY14, an increase of about 400% in three years. “There is no reprieve from indiscriminate import and dumping of radial tyres especially truck & bus radials from China. Such large scale imports are gravely hurting the domestic manufacturing of TBR,” said KM Mammen, chairman, ATMA, in a statement released on Monday.
In its communication to the commerce ministry, ATMA has asked for facilitating the process of imposition of anti-dumping duty on import of TBR tyre from China.
Most of the new investments of R35,000 crore by the tyre industry in India in the last 3-4 years have been directed towards setting up TBR capacities as TBR is seen as the growth driver for the industry. Unfortunately, dumping in TBRs is touching new highs even as domestic capacities are going on stream. With expansion in capacity, the capacity utilisation levels have come down to 60-65% in TBR manufacturing from 80-85% a couple of years ago.
Currently more than 40% of the replacement demand in TBR is being met by imports while domestic capacities are faced with the prospects of ever declining utilisation, ATMA has stated in its communication to Union ministry of commerce & industry.
China dominates as the source country for import of TBR in India with a share of 94% in 2016-17. China’s share in total TBR import was 40% in 2013-14, 70% in 2014-15 and 90% in 2015-16.
ATMA has alleged that most of the TBR import from China is being dumped into India as TBR export prices from China are significantly lower than the prices of such tyres in Chinese domestic market and also prices of similar exports originating from countries such as Thailand and South Korea. The per unit import price from China is even less than the cost of raw materials that go into the making of the tyres.
While import duty on natural rubber is 25% in India, import of tyres from China attracts just 7% duty, Mammen pointed out.
Dumping of TBR tyres at such a large scale is also adversely affecting the interests of rubber growers in India. Truck & bus tyres are primary consumers of domestic natural rubber. However, domestic demand for tyres being increasingly met by Chinese imports, the offtake of natural rubber by tyre industry has been seriously impacted, ATMA said.