U.S. tread rubber shipments are expected to rise 2 percent a year through 2007 on the strength of the construction industry, growth in domestic manufacturing and the expansion of freight, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association (RMA).
The growth follows an expected 2.2-percent rise in shipments in 2005, the RMA said, based on economic growth and a strong demand for off-the-road tires. The 2005 shipment growth, down nearly a half point from an earlier forecast, is up from a 1.5-percent increase in 2004 over 2003, the RMA noted, but the 2006 and 2007 growth projections are up from the earlier forecast of 1.7 percent.
The RMA's Tread Rubber Analysis Committee said the 2005 tread rubber shipments represent a total of about 16.1 million retreaded tires in the U.S. Tires retreaded in 2006 are expected to increase by about 300,000 units.