NASHVILLE, Tenn. — The off-the-road (OTR) and specialty tire market is enjoying high demand for its products, although supply-chain disruption continues to be a challenge.
"The specialty/OTR market continues to be strong, especially in the farm, industrial and OTR markets," Jack Fenner, marketing manager, Specialty Tires of America Inc., said.
"As a U.S.-built company, Specialty Tires has seen an elevated interest from our customers to 'Buy American.'"
Fenner said STA remains confident for a strong market finish to 2022 and that it will remain solid for the start of 2023.
"The market for OTR tires often correlates with prevailing trends within the mining, construction and aggregate markets as a whole," Rob Seibert, president of Off the Road at Bridgestone Americas Inc., said.
"While mining commodity pricing remains historically strong, the industry continues to face headwinds in labor, parts, shipping and global economic volatility."
He noted that copper and gold have seen strong pricing throughout 2022, but some retraction has occurred in the third quarter with increasing interest rates and movement to treasury yields.
"We continue to see the impact of the infrastructure package, which has assisted in supplying critical raw materials needed for investments in EV, green energy, utilities and other polices," he said.
He noted the construction and aggregates segments continue to add jobs, and he expects this trend to continue for the near future.
"From a year-over-year basis, overall employment in the industry continues to rise; some estimates say construction employment has risen more than 4% in the last year. Overall sales trends have been positive, as well, suggesting an expectation of growth over the next six months. That trend is likely to continue in the near future, with an eye on interest rates," Seibert said.
As is the case with several industries, the specialty and OTR tire markets have faced global supply-chain disruptions throughout the year.
"However, Bridgestone has made strides to strategically address these challenges, such as our $12 million investment for an expansion to the Bloomington, Ill., facility that was announced in 2018. This expansion added more capacity in key radial sizes to support the construction and aggregate mining sector," Seibert said.