Commercial Business

Truck tire imports were down -- even from China

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United States truck tire import numbers for 2009 are in, and guess what? The numbers are down.

According to U.S. government figures, there were more than 6.7 million domestic medium truck tire imports last year, down 28.5% from 2008. Compared to the high-water mark of 2006, truck tire imports were down 48%.

China accounted for nearly half of the total truck tire imports in the U.S. -- 3.2 million units. Canada was next with 1 million units. From 2008 to 2009, Chinese and Canadian imports were down 14.6% and 24.5%, respectively.

The top eight countries from which the U.S. imports its truck tires are as follows: China, Canada, Japan, Thailand, South Korea, United Kingdom, France and Germany. They account for 95% of the total imports. Shipments from each country were down year to year.

The same order applies when only radial truck tires shipments are taken into account. Radial truck tires make up 93% of all truck tire imports in the U.S., or close to 6.3 million tires.

The top two exporters of bias medium truck tires to the U.S. are China (95% of 467,000 units shipped) and India (2.4%, or 11,200).

Whereas total radial shipments were down 27.5% in 2009, bias shipments were down 36.7%.

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