Tyre sector comes out tops Raw materials riding high As for the raw materials, 70% of natural rubber and 50% of synthetic rubber go into tyre production and g l o b a l c o n s u m p t i o n i s s e t t o f o l l o w t h e i n c re a s e d activity in the tyre sector. The 2010 consumption of 10.7 mil l i o n t o n n e s o f natural rubber for all markets (tyre and non-tyre) is forecast to grow to 15.4 million tonnes by 2020. The comparable figures for all synthetic rubber markets are 13.6 million tonnes in 2010, rising to 18.5 million tonnes by 2020. Evans also added that this year, rubber consumption will be 10.7% higher than last year with demand to re a c h 11 . 2 m i l l i o n t o n n e s . “ T h o u g h g o v e r n m e n t s are hopeful of targets, with no new trees to tap, the inventory will be 100,000 tonnes short.” He added that the short supply may see the largest consuming c o u n t r y, C h i n a , re s o r t i n g t o l a t e x a l t e r n a t i v e s l i k e guayule, which is grown in the US. Evans also said that natural rubber prices, which have tripled in the past two years, capped in February this year, due to the earthquake in Japan and dramatic increases in demands. As for synthetic rubber, since early October 2010, prices have increased by 500%, from US$600 to US$3,000/tonne. Plus, the oil-based synthetic rubber has grown more expensive as oil prices have gone up, too.
The rubber market is expected to be given a boost by the tyre sector, as expressed by exhibitors and visitors alike at the 8th TyrexpoAsia 2011 exhibition, held from 2931 March in Singapore. Accordingly, 160 exhibitors from around 40 countries took part in the largest staging of the exhibition’s 15-year history. It also had 3,578 visitors, an increase of 16% compared to the last show in 2009.
Robust tyre growth The Secretary-General of the Singapore-based International Rubber Study Group (IRSG) is predicting strong global demand for tyres through to the end of the decade. Speaking at the opening of the show, Stephen Evans said that much of the extra demand will originate from China and India. He added, “From an overall perspective the years through to 2020 will be a period of opportunity for tyre makers and the replacement and service sectors.” The Secretary-General of the International Rubber Study Group, Stephen Evans, said that there is no real change in the natural rubber market fundamentals this year, compared to last year
Launches at the show There were a few announcements at the show including Indian OTR manufacturer Balkrishna Tyres (BKT) that confirmed plans for a fourth tyre plant in the country. T h e U S $ 3 0 0 m i l l i o n g re e n f i e l d s i t e i n v e s t m e n t i n Gujarat is scheduled to come on stream next year and will boost the company’s capacity by 80%.
The OE and replacement tyre markets are expected to push the market along with OE passenger car tyre sales to grow from 290 million units in 2010 to 400 million units by 2020, while replacement car tyre sales will grow from 760 million units in 2010 to 1.2 billion units by 2020. Evans also said that the current figure of 1 billion v e h i c l e s w o r l d w i de i s e x p e ct e d t o i n cre a se t o 1 . 4 5 b i l l i o n t o w a rd s t h e e n d o f t h e d e c a d e , w i t h C h i n a alone to add on 200 million vehicles.
Some companies used the show to launch new tyre models 5
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Plastics and Rubber Asia May 2011 Electronic Issue