Revenue generated by China's rubber industry was essentially unchanged last year
versus 2017, at $105 billion, according to China's National Bureau of Statistics. The
value of exports rose 4.4% to $23 billion.
The number of companies in China's sizable rubber sector, including tire makers, fell
by 79 to 3,565 in 2018, following a drop of 324 companies in 2017.
Total profits generated by the industry rose 2.1% to $4.6 billion.
"It seems that some companies' performance is picking up but it's only because there
is market space to fill upon the shutdowns," China Rubber Industry Association (CRIA)
Secretary General Xu Wenying said at the China Rubber Conference in Guangzhou
earlier this year.
The industry association's estimate for total assets of "sizable" companies' showed a
decline of 1.4% to $120 billion last year. Within this estimation, tire makers' assets fell
6% to $72 billion.
CRIA also surveyed the 2017 and 2018 growth rates for 388 key companies in the
The findings revealed sharp drops in production, sales and exports, Mr. Xu said, who
went on to comment: "The jump in 2018 profit growth-rate only means we had a really
bad year in 2017."
Monthly figures suggest "there is a strong positive correlation between growth rates
for production value and export delivery value," the CRIA secretary general added.
In a segment breakdown of the 388 key companies, carbon black showed the most
robust growth in terms of revenues and exports, while rubber footwear recorded
negative growth for both.
Based on data from the key companies, in 2018 China's overall rubber sector recorded
a 5.4% profit margin; the tire segment's profit margin of 3.1% was lower than the
overall sector's in all three years.
"Investors need to be prudent with new tire projects," Mr. Xu said, citing factors such
as international trade conflicts, rising U.S. dollar financing costs, the slip in domestic
passenger car sales — the first time in decades — as well as Brexit and other
uncertainties as reasons for the slowdown.