WASHINGTON — U.S. tire shipments are expected to drop about 0.7 percent in 2019 from 2018, with replacement truck tire shipments falling the most drastically, according to the latest forecast from the U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA).
The association's forecast comes just a few weeks after the USTMA published calendar-year 2018 data, which included record aftermarket passenger tire shipments.
The USTMA did not elaborate on the reasons for the projected decline, but did say the 2018 data are still considered preliminary due to the U.S. Government shutdown and delayed release of December trade data. The USTMA also said this forecast was completed after the announcement of the antidumping and countervailing duties for Chinese truck tires and was incorporated into the forecast.
Overall, shipments are expected to drop to 327 million units from 329.4 million in 2018.
Replacement market passenger tire shipments are projected to drop 0.3 percent (600,000 units) from a "historically strong" 2018, the USTMA said.
Replacement light truck tire shipments are seen rising 0.8 percent (300,000 units), while medium truck/bus tire shipments are projected to drop about 1.5 million units to 19.9 million units.
Original equipment (OE) passenger tire shipments are expected to fall 1.3 percent (600,000 units), while OE light truck tire shipments are seen rising 1.1 percent (100,000 units). Medium truck OE shipments will come up 0.9 percent shy of the 2018 total, or about 100,000 units.