After growing at a blistering pace in 2010 and through the first half of 2011, U.S. containerized auto tire import growth slowed and since late last year has turned negative, according to PIERS, a JOC sister company.
Containerized tire imports dropped 6.4 percent year-over-year in the third quarter to 98,654 TEUs, compared with 105,381 TEUs in the third quarter of 2011. The third quarter was the fourth consecutive declining quarter for tire imports. Compared to the second quarter of 2012, tire imports fell more than 8 percent, PIERS data shows.
Despite tariffs imposed in 2009 and upheld by the World Trade Organization, China remains by far the largest supplier of U.S. tire imports shipped by ocean container, with a 30.7 percent share year to date through September 2012, a 1 percent market share increase over its 2011 share. South Korea and Japan are the next two largest sources of U.S. containerized tire imports, with 15.2 and 12 percent shares, respectively, through September.