Thailand replaces China as top tire exporter to India

13, Jul. 2020

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By Atul Ranjan

NEW DELHI, NNA - Thailand has overtaken China as the largest tire exporter to India as a result of anti-dumping measures against Chinese shipments, the Indian corporate ratings agency ICRA Ltd. says.

ICRA’s latest data accessed by NNA shows that tire exports from Thailand grew to 26 percent in value terms over the three years ending in March 2020 while tires sent from China were more than halved, to 25 percent, during the same period.

India’s imposition three years ago of anti-dumping duties on Chinese tires helped Thailand emerge as the top exporter, said K. Srikumar, vice president and co-head of corporate ratings for ICRA.

India seeks to protect a vast domestic industry, a brokerage report says.

“First, part of erstwhile imports from China was getting rerouted through Thailand,” Srikumar told NNA Sunday. “And second, some Chinese players set up plants in the Southeast Asian country.”

China used to ship a majority of tires to India, mainly truck bus radials. It saw those exports decline from 51 percent in fiscal 2017 to just 21 percent in value terms in fiscal 2019, ICRA says.

India is no exception for Chinese truck bus radials. China’s share of total imports of this category fell from 89 percent in fiscal 2017 to 43 percent in the latest fiscal year, according to a June report by Indian brokerage firm ICICI Securities Ltd. The reports cites impacts of anti-dumping duties.

India imposed anti-dumping duties on new radial tires from China from 2017 into 2022 and added anti-subsidy countervailing duties last year.

More than 90 percent of Indian tire imports come from 15 countries including Japan and Vietnam – among the top four along with Thailand and China, according to ICRA data. Imports from Vietnam have increased sharply since 2018.

Total tire consumption this fiscal year is estimated at 1.782 million tons and imports made up about 4 percent of domestic demand.

India’s director general of foreign trade said in a June 12 circular that all tire imports would start to require the office’s permission – a further tightening.

“This curricular shows the government’s intent to safeguard domestic tire manufacturing companies while at the same time ensuring tire imports from registered or licensed owners only,” ICICI Securities said in its report.