Led by dumping from China, India’s import of truck and bus radial tyres (TBR) touched a new high in 2016-17, averaging 1.2 lakh units a month, according to the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA). In the last fiscal, overall import of TBR grew 9 per cent, the apex body of tyre manufacturers said, adding that the ever-increasing trend has hurt the domestic industry.
“Imported tyres have come to account for 40 per cent of replacement demand for TBR in India, causing a severe blow to the domestic industry, which has put in hefty investments in TBR manufacturing,” ATMA said in a statement. Most of the new investments of Rs 35,000 crore by the tyre industry in India in the last 3-4 years have been directed towards setting up TBR capacities, it added.
ATMA Chairman Satish Sharma said that although TBR has become a growth driver for the industry, indiscriminate import has queered the pitch for the domestic tyre sector. He further said capacity utilisation levels have come down to 60-65 per cent, from 80-85 per cent three years ago.
Giving an account of how import of TBRs has grown over the years, ATMA said it has touched about 1.2 lakh units per month in 2016-17, from 40,000 units a month in 2013-14. “TBR import has witnessed a staggering 200 per cent increase in the last three years,” it said.
The main source of import is China, which accounts for more than 90 per cent. China’s share in the import pie has risen to 92 per cent in 2016-17, from 40 per cent in 2013-14. “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 the Chinese domestic market and also prices of similar exports originating from countries such as Thailand and South Korea,” ATMA said.
It claimed that the per unit import price of TBRs from China is even less than the cost of raw materials that go into making of the tyres. The tyremakers’ body said around 60 per cent of TBR import is being contracted by small private operators and with demonetisation draining away unaccounted cash, there was a significant drop in import of tyres.
“However, with remonetisation, the imports have made a serious comeback,” it added.