WASHINGTON-Shipments of light and medium/wide-base truck tires to the U.S. replacement market rose in February, compared with the year-ago month, though shipments of passenger tires were unchanged, according to recently released data from the Rubber Manufacturers Association. Shipments of replacement light truck tires grew 10 percent to 2.12 million units, while those of medium and wide-base truck tires climbed 14.9 percent to just over 1 million units.
Aftermarket passenger tire shipments were flat for the month at 12.6 million units. Original equipment shipments declined slightly, but total shipments increased 1.2 percent on the strength of a 15.7-percent surge in exports to 1.97 million units.
Aftermarket shipments of heavy and large off-the-road truck tires sagged 7.6 percent for the month. Radialization in this segment has grown to over 40 percent, yet radials account for only 10-15 percent of domestic production. Most of the demand must be met through imports, 80 percent of which are radials.
Shipments of replacement industrial and utility tires soared 59.6 percent in February. Radial shipments were 20 times those of the previous year, but still accounted for just 3.5 percent of the total.