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Cheap tyre 'dumping' threatening UK retreading market

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The British Tyre Manufacturers Association (BTMA) has warned that an influx of short-lived cheap tyres from Asia has contributed to a 500,000 increase in the number of end-of-life truck tyres each year.

Graham Willson, chief executive, said the market share of retreaded truck tyres had declined by 30% in the past five years because of an influx of single-life tyre imports “at dumping prices”.

Speaking at the launch of an environmental regulations report by the Aldersgate Group on 7 December, Willson (third from right) said: “A haulage fleet deploying a tyre policy based on single-life throwaway tyres uses more than four times as many tyres to cover the same mileage compared with one using premium tyres and retreading.

“As a result, the UK must now dispose of an additional 500,000 end-of-life truck tyres every year. Placed side by side, these would reach almost all round the M25 motorway.

“The phenomenon has also resulted in a 27% increase in UK natural rubber consumption used in truck tyres. Natural rubber is an EU-critical raw material.”

Willson added that the UK’s post-Brexit policy was “clearly focused” on maximising trade at the expense of wider considerations.

He warned that deregulation “leads to a race to the bottom” and impacts the quality of products.

“Truck tyres comprise 40% natural rubber,” he said. “Despite 60 years of research, the boffins have not found a synthetic replacement in this application. Can the Industrial Strategy save us or will the unfettered free-traders hold sway?”

Photo from the Aldersgate Group

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