U.S. shipments of tread rubber are expected to grow 2.3 percent in 2005, driven by strong demand for off-the-road tires, the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA) said.
The RMA said 2005 marks the third consecutive year that shipments have increased, although the growth rate is down slightly from a 2.7-percent rate forecast in May. In 2004, tread rubber shipments increased 1.5 percent. The shipments in 2005 will represent about 17 million retreaded tires in the U.S., the association said.
Continued strength in construction, increases in the number of trucks, expansion in the manufacturing sector and positive freight trends will sustain growth through 2007 at an annualized rate of 1.7 percent.