The Automotive Tyre Manufacturers Association (ATMA) today sought the government's help to stop dumping of cheap truck and bus tyres into the country by China, which it said, has caused a seven-fold rise in imports in December since the beginning of this fiscal.
India imported 27,184 tyres in April last year and the figure shot up to 2.04 lakh units in December, mainly on account of large consignments entering the country from China, the industry body said in a statement.
"Imports from China has gone up from 19,253 tyres in April to 1,38,293 tyres in December 2009...Truck and bus tyres represent the largest segment, accounting for nearly 60 per cent of industry turnover," it added.
The industry body also expressed concern over further increase in imports, with China likely to divert additional tyres in the wake of imposition of high tariffs on Chinese tyres by the US government.
ATMA director-general Rajiv Budhraja said with the US step, it was evident that China was looking for potential alternative markets to dump tyres, and India with its growth prospects offered a lucrative market. He added that there was a need for effective checks if the imports were not to seriously undo the benefits of stimulus measures.
He further added that increasing raw material costs had affected the sector severely and natural rubber availability remained a concern for the industry.