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Thailand replaces China as largest exporter to India

Tyre imports have seen a significant decline during the first quarter of this fiscal, and Thailand has replaced China as the largest exporter of TBR (truck and bus radial) tyres to India.

During Q1 of this fiscal, total tyre imports fell 44 per cent in value terms to ₹395 crore compared with ₹703 crore in the year-ago period.

In FY20, total tyre imports stood at ₹2,612 crore, down from ₹2,995 crore in FY19, ₹3,098 crore in FY18 and ₹3,282 crore in FY17, according to data from the Automotive Tyre Manufacturers’ Association (ATMA).

Import of passenger car radial (PCR) tyres accounted for the largest share (58 per cent) in overall tyre import volumes during Q1 of this fiscal. Motorcycle tyres imports came second with 18 per cent and TBR accounted for 10 per cent.

Despite the lockdown and trade restrictions, India imported more than a lakh TBRs during Q1 and almost half of imports in this category came from Thailand, while China accounted for 27 per cent.

In FY20, about 43 per cent of TBR imports came from China and Thailand’s share was 42 per cent.

However, in PCR imports, China accounted for 38 per cent, followed by Thailand (22 per cent), Vietnam (18 per cent) and Indonesia (10 per cent).

Under restricted category

On June 12, the Directorate General of Foreign Trade notified that tyre imports (across all categories) into India would fall into the restricted category as against free category assigned earlier, implying imports would require DGFT permission.

The objective of this move was to safeguard domestic tyre companies and ensure that tyres were imported only from registered/licensed owners. The idea was also to discourage imports by the unorganised segment.

The move was also expected to benefit domestic tyre makers.

Also cheap imports of truck and bus radial (TBR) tyres were declining after the imposition of anti-dumping duty (since September 2017) and countervailing duty (from June 2019).

The Hindu Business Line