WASHINGTON (Feb. 10, 2014) — After scrap tire usage in the U.S. dropped off in 2009-2011, the industry is anticipating a rebound in 2014, thanks to strength in markets such as rubberized asphalt and crumb rubber, according to two industry experts.
At the same time, demand for tire-derived fuel (TDF) — which was sagging early in the decade — should enjoy at least a partial comeback this year, they said.
These observations come ahead of the Rubber Manufacturers Association's (RMA) next biennial statistical report on scrap tire usage, which will cover the period 2011-13, according to RMA Vice President Michael Blumenthal.
The 2009 and 2011 RMA Scrap Tire Reports were sobering in comparison with previous versions. The 2007 report showed that 89.3 percent of scrap tires generated in the U.S. found productive end-uses, compared with only 11 percent in 1990, the year the RMA first measured the rates of scrap tire usage.
The 2009 report, however, showed the percentage had slipped to 85.3 percent, and by 2011 it had fallen still further, to 81.6 percent.
"What we're seeing is that there is no clear-cut pattern for the market per se," Mr. Blumenthal said. "Each individual market needs to be looked at, because each one is a little different from the others."
That said, Mr. Blumenthal noted he was encouraged by what he foresees for the different scrap tire markets, including TDF.