By comparison, the USTMA projects that replacement passenger and light truck tire shipments are projected to fall 15.2% and 11.8% short of 2019 shipments, respectively, and replacement shipments of medium/heavy truck tires are projected to be 5% lower than a year ago.
Thailand continued as the No. 1 source of imported passenger, light truck and medium/heavy-duty truck tires, with shipments of the latter actually increasing during the period by 21.3%, reflecting the commissioning of truck tire capacity at a number of new plants and ongoing expansions there.
Imports of passenger tires from Thailand fell 16.3% to 14.8 million units, valued at $585.1 million, or $39.46 on average.
South Korea, Indonesia and Mexico are next on the import list, and all suffered high double-digit declines in exports to the U.S. Imports from Vietnam, No. 5 on the list, were essentially unchanged at 4.49 million units.
The average value of an imported passenger tire among the larger countries on the list ranged from $37.48 (Indonesia) to $63.62 (Mexico), the data show.
In the truck/bus tire category, Thailand's exports to the U.S. grew to 2.29 million units, or nearly 37% of total imports, versus 26% a year ago. The average value of a truck/bus tire from Thailand was $129.83, or $13.47 lower than a year ago and $32 lower than the category average of $161.82.
In the past several months, Jiangsu General Science Technology Co. Ltd. (JGST) and Prinx Chengshan Tire Co. Ltd. commissioned production at new plants in Thailand, representing 1.8 million units of new truck tire capacity.
The range of values of an imported truck tire was $90.72 (China) to $295.50 (Canada), Commerce Department data show.
China remained the No. 2 source of imported truck/bus tires, but shipments from there were off by 66.4% during the period to 725,175 units.
Japan, Canada and South Korea were the next largest, with shipments from Korea more than doubling to 488,375 units.
China's decline accounted for most of the category's drop, as India and Vietnam booked double-digit increases as well, the data show.
In the light truck tire category, Thailand — despite a slight drop in shipments — was the clear leader with 3.45 million units, or nearly 31% of total imports during the period.
Canada, Indonesia and South Korea were the next largest.
The average declared customs value of light truck tire import was $76.86, up 3.2% from a year ago. Average values among the leading countries in this category ranged from $49.61 (Philippines) to $96.85 (Brazil).