Based on production, shipment and inventory performance summary of automobile tires and tubes from January to December 2014 from Japan Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association (JATMA), the production volume was 1,121,062 tons, decreased by 0.6% and the domestic shipment was 571,093 tons, increased by 1.3% and the export shipment was 563,000 tons, decreased by 1.5% compared to the same period of last year.
Since the automobile production volume between January and December 2014 increased by 1.5% compared to the last year, the domestic shipment for tires and tubes also went up to the same extent. However, decline in export caused slight decrease in the production volume itself compare to last year’s performance.
For production of tires and tubes, the demand for winter tires increased due to early snowfall and thus passenger vehicles in particular had a good start.
From January to March, while tires for trucks & buses increased due to economic recovery, tires for passenger vehicles showed downward trend caused by kickback fear from the last-minute demand before the consumption tax increase. Tires for construction vehicles also decreased in their production volume. This is considered to be caused by reactionary drop from the last-minute demand before expiration of the production grace period in emission control, as well as decrease in demand due to consumption tax increase.
Period between April and June also started in similar trend. While tires for trucks & buses showed a pause, tires for passenger vehicles showed signs of recovery due to reactionary drop from temporary demand.
From July to September, tires for trucks & buses shifted towards slight decrease. While tires for passenger vehicles decreased in their automobile production volume, commercial tires shifted positively and increased their production volume. Tires for small trucks also increased their production in September. For tires for construction vehicles, while shipment value for construction machines increased in both domestic market and exporting and the production volume of tires also showed slight increase since August, the quantity of rubber declined. As this tendency is particularly remarkable in export shipment, it is believed to be influenced by demand decrease in OR tires in foreign resource countries.
From October to December, tires for trucks & buses showed downward trend in their production volume, resulting in negative figures compared to the previous year and showed continuous trend as the period from July to September. Tires for small trucks either turned positive or unchanged compare to the previous year. For tires for passenger vehicles, while automobile production volume has fallen compared to the previous year, commercial tires showed some increase and therefore shifted positively. For tires for construction vehicles, since the total shipment value for construction machines has been resulted positively for 17 continuous months, it went beyond the previous year’s performance.
Total production volume in December was 84,883 tons, decreased by 2.9% compared to the same period of last year. Domestic shipment was 42,606 tons, decreased by 4.0% thus it went beyond the actual production figures during the same period of last year for 3 continuous months.
Export shipment was 43,598 tons, increased by 4.3% thus shifted from the previous month’s decrease to increase.
By description, production volume for tires for trucks & buses was 20,768 tons, decreased by 9.3%. Volume for small truck’s tires was 11,419 tons, increased by 0.1%, and volume for passenger vehicle’s tire was 38,412 tons, increased by 1.9%, and volume for construction vehicle’s tire was 12,867 tons, increased by 2.7% compared to the same period of last year.