Tread Rubber Shipments to Decrease by 1.2% in 2006

For more information contact:
Dan Zielinski
(202) 682-4846
dzielinski@rma.org

WASHINGTON, D.C.December 20, 2006 - Continued economic growth sustained strong demand for tread rubber shipments in 2006. However, the inability to source off-road tire casings as well as the pull-forward effect of new truck purchases into 2006 — a result of 2007 engine emissions standards — will adversely affect total shipments for the year. As a result, tread rubber shipments are predicted to fall by 1.2% for 2006, according to the Rubber Manufacturers Association’s Tread Rubber Market Analysis Committee (TRMAC). However, growth will resume in 2007 as shipments are forecasted to increase by approximately 1.3%.

The 2006 forecast will mark the first decline after three consecutive years that shipments have increased. This represents a total of approximately 15.7 million tires retreaded in 2006 in the United States.

Retreaded tires are used by commercial aviation, commercial trucks, school buses, and off-the-road vehicles such as industrial, agricultural and mining equipment.

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The Rubber Manufacturers Association is the national trade association for the rubber products industry. Its members include more than 100 companies that manufacture various rubber products, including tires, hoses, belts, seals, molded goods, and other finished rubber products. RMA members employ over 120,000 workers and account for more than $21 billion in annual sales.