In a separate presentation, Dick Gust, president of national accounts for Liberty Tire Recycling L.L.C. and co-chairman of TIA's Environmental Advisory Council, put the market at about 3 million units a year, with the construction segment accounting for more than three-fourths of the market.
In general, the market breaks down roughly 68/32 radial/bias, Mr. Easter said, with only marginal growth in favor of radials.
In terms of specific market segments, tires for port materials-handling equipment should be a bright spot, Mr. Easter said, based on government expectations of a record year in international trade.
Depending on how—or whether—Congress resolves the pending funding crisis in highway infrastructure funding, road construction could yield some unexpected gains, Mr. Easter noted.
As it stands, however, estimates show the U.S. should have about $67 billion available this year for transportation infrastructure work—far short of the $200 billion needed for road and bridge maintenance and improvements, he said.
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