Thailand also is No. 1 in the passenger and light truck categories, although in not-such dominant fashion.
For the record, imports of passenger, light truck and medium truck tires were up 15%, 12.1% and 28.5%, respectively, in the half-year.
By contrast, the most recent U.S. Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) shipment forecast calls for replacement market gains of 0.9%, 2.3% and 6.5% for the three major categories. With a few notable exceptions, imported tires are sold predominantly in the replacement market.
The impact of the U.S. decision to impose elevated import duties on passenger tires from Taiwan continued. Shipments of passenger tires from Taiwan dropped 36.8% in the second quarter to 744,633 units; for the half year, imports from Taiwan dropped over a million units, or 43.3% to 1.41 million units.
Those same elevated duties on manufacturers in South Korea and Thailand have had much less impact on those nations, the data show.
In the passenger tire sector, imports overall for the first six months of 2022 grew 15% to 86.8 million units. The top three nations in this category — Thailand, Mexico and Indonesia — account for nearly 45% of the imports in this category.
Among the nations showing the largest increases over 2020 were Japan, up 46.7%, Malaysia, up 31.4%, and Indonesia, up 24.4%
Worth noting: Chile, Malaysia and the Philippines are now among the 10 largest sources of imported tires, and each essentially represents a single manufacturer — Goodyear in Chile, Toyo Tire Corp. in Malaysia and Yokohama Rubber Co. Ltd. in the Philippines.
Overall, imports of light truck tires grew 15.6% in the quarter ended June 30, pushing imports for the half year up 12.1% to 19 million units. Thailand and Vietnam remain the Nos. 1 and 2 in this category, the data show.
The light truck tire category shows a distinct shift to supply from Asia, with shipments from the Philippines, Vietnam and China up 65.3%, 37.4% and 33.3%, respectively, while imports from Canada and Mexico dropped 2.8% and 5%, respectively.
For perspective, the USTMA is projecting U.S. aftermarket light truck tire shipments will be up 2.3% (900,000 units) this year to 39.5 million units.
In the medium truck/bus tire sector, imports from category leader Thailand jumped 52% in the quarter, leading to a 34.5% increase for the six-month period to 4.78 million units. As such, Thailand accounts for 43% of all imports.
The supply mix here also is skewing more heavily to Asia, with China, India, Vietnam and Japan all registering high double-digit increases in shipments to the U.S. At the same time, shipments from Canada and Germany fell, while those from Brazil shot up 89.3% during the period.
The USTMA is forecasting 6.5% growth this year in replacement market medium truck/bus tires, to 24.3 million units.
The import data also can be seen as a barometer for pricing. According to the data, the average value of a passenger tire imported into the U.S. during the first half of the year was $52.95, up 10.3% from the same period a year ago.
The average declared customs prices of a light truck and medium truck/bus tire for the half-year period were $75.67 and $166.21, respectively.