White Colne, UK – Last week, the Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA) presented data illustrating how the ‘dumping’ of cheap tyres from Asia is having a devastating impact on the retread tyre industry with direct implications for employment, the tyre recovery programme and the environment. The evidence of ‘dumping’ taking place was made clear by comparing the cost of raw material and the retail price of the Asian imports. For a truck tyre, which typically weighs 60 kilos, the materials cost approximately £1.16/kilo, giving an overall total cost of £70. Meanwhile, these tyre are retailing in the market at around £73, leaving a margin of just £3 for manufacturing, transportation, import duty and profit.
That is an impossibly low amount for a commercial operation to sustain without significant subsidies from a backing organisation or government. The RMA is calling for urgent action to allow the UK retread industry to compete on an equal footing with the cheap and subsidised imports flooding in. Without intervention, the future of 2,500 employees across the UK’s industry is under threat. At the same time, without a successful domestic retread industry, three times more waste truck tyres will be disposed of across the UK, putting a an overwhelming strain on the tyre recovery programme.
At a meeting with ministers at the Department for Business, Government representatives were reminded that of the €1 billion the industry generates across the European Union, 60 per cent is generated by SME businesses, which are particularly vulnerable to the impact of dumping practises.
RMA-Chairman Patrick O’Connell, who led the tyre industry deputation to ministers, said: “We are calling on the British Government and European Commission to take immediate action on the ‘dumping’ of tyres into the UK and European markets. Our data supports the view that without intervention, the future of 2,500 employees, either directly or indirectly employed by the UK retreading industry, is under threat.
He added: “This ‘dumping’ of cheap tyres is having an increasingly negative impact on our industry, with serious implications for employment, the tyre recovery programme and the environment. The RMA is seeking urgent changes which will allow the European-based retread industry to compete on an equal footing in the marketplace with the clearly subsidised, cheap imports flooding in from Asia. We are committed to lobbying on behalf of the retread industry to secure its long-term future in the UK.”
The reusability of the retread tyres means potentially up to three times fewer new tyres will need recycling at the end of their life. Unlike other forms of tyre recycling or disposal, retreading does not simply defer the eventual disposal of the tyre but actively contributes towards reducing the amount of tyres being used and hence saves valuable natural resources. If operators switched entirely to the cheap, single-life tyres currently being ‘dumped’ in the marketplace, the increased volume requiring disposal would put an overwhelming strain on the tyre recovery programme.
Source: Retread Manufacturers Association