Ministers hear RMA concerns over negative impact of tyre ‘dumping’

Representatives from the Retread Manufacturers Association (RMA) and the tyre industry have met with ministers at the Department for Business to press for urgent measures to address the threat already being felt across the UK and European retread industry from the importation of ‘cheap’ tyres arriving from Asia.

During the meeting the RMA presented data which illustrated how the ‘dumping’ of cheap tyres is having a devastating impact on the retread tyre industry with direct implications for employment, the tyre recovery programme and the environment.

Government representatives were also 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.

The RMA argues that the evidence of ‘dumping’ taking place is clear by simply 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.  However, RMA findings identify that these tyres are retailing in the market at around £73, leaving a margin of just £3 for manufacturing, transportation, import duty and profit.

As such a low amount is impossible 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.

The organisation is further concerned that 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.

RMA chairman, Patrick O’Connell, who led the tyre industry deputation at the meeting, commented: “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.

“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.”