Solid tire, as s a kind of industrial tires, is made of a special kind of rubber materials. Solid tire has little hollow to keep the center of gravity, the rest is solid completely. It is an industrial vehicle tire adapted to low-speed and high-load operation under harsh conditions, which has an outstanding advantage over inflatable tires in terms of security, durability and economy. Solid tire is widely applied in all kinds of industrial vehicles, military vehicles, construction vehicles and articulated vehicles in ports and airports.
International market demand for vehicle solid tires is on the upward trend and has an annual growth rate of about 10%. It is expected that the global market demand for vehicle tires will reach 25 million units. In general, Europe and Southeast Asia are the main production regions of solid tires. In particular, Viet Nam and Sri Lanka in Southeast Asia with big output of rubber have made big progress in the production of solid tires.
China's solid tire market is highly concentrated, but its industry profit is low. At present, China's production and sales of vehicle solid tires are booming, and both the output and demand are on the upward trend. This is mainly attributable to the fact that the rapid development of transport engineering industry in the recent years has expanded the demand for solid tires. China's solid tire production is mainly concentrated in Shangdong province and Guizhou province. The overall prosperity of the tire market and the strong market demand has conduced to the rapid development of solid tire industry in the two provinces.
China Demand for Vehicle Solid Tires, 2005-2007
(unit: 10,000 units)
Source: China Rubber Industry Association
Solid tire industry belongs to the traditional industry with labor-intensive and technology-intensive characteristics. China holds superiority in low labor cost. For the moment, China's solid tire industry is of the feature that exports outstrip imports. China's export volume is on the upward trend and the main destinations include America, UK, Japan and Netherlands. As far as solid tire export is concerned, the factors like the pressure of RMB appreciation, trade barriers, price hikes in raw materials as well as the reduction of export tax rebates have brought risks to solid tire exporting enterprises. Nevertheless, export is expected to keep a steady growth.
Export Volume and Export Value of Other Vehicle Solid Tires, 2005-2007
Source: China Customs
Concerning China's solid tire industry in the future, the development of new products and the improvement of technical content are the core competitiveness of enterprises. The shortage of rubber resources hindering the development of the industry and rubber prices hovering at high level have increased the cost of solid tire, which has pushed up rises in prices of solid tires. Besides, the rapid development of construction machinery market and industrial vehicles has facilitated the demand for solid tires. As forecasted, solid tire market will maintain the prosperity of production and sales in the next couple of years.