WASHINGTON — 2021 was a boom year for imports.
After a slight dip in trade volume and revenue in 2020, both roared back in 2021 as demand for tires in the U.S. rebounded to pre-COVID levels and more.
By the numbers, the value of tire imports last year shot up 18.4% to a record $15.9 billion on double-digit unit shipment growth in most categories.
Thailand, the No. 1 source of imported passenger, light truck and medium truck/bus tires, tops the overall list of importing nations with shipments valued at $3 billion, an 8% increase despite a 7.3% drop in passenger tire shipments in the wake of elevated import duties imposed on Thailand in 2021.
- This article appears in the Feb. 28 print edition of Tire Business, which contains the annual Market Data Book.
As they pertain to companies in Thailand, the duties on passenger and light truck tires are: LLIT Thailand Co. Ltd. (Linglong) — 22.21%; Sumitomo Rubber (Thailand) Co. Ltd. — 13.25%; all others — 16.66%.
Mexico was the big mover of the year. The value of tire imports from the U.S.'s southern neighbor shot up 48.2% to $1.57 billion on the strength of high double-digit (52.8% and 55.9%) growth in passenger and light truck tire shipments.
Mexico now ranks third in import value, nearly equal with Canada, the perennial No. 2.