Demand for Critical Size Agriculture Tires Surges amidst COVID-19 Crisis

As companies in the agriculture tire market were gaining confidence for the year 2020 after countering trade tensions and bad weather in 2019, that hampered the rubber planting and harvesting activities throughout North America, the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak has caused more disruption in the market landscape. On the other hand, Indian tire manufacturer Apollo Tyres Ltd. is scaling back its production of passenger vehicles and is instead focusing on the production of agricultural tires in the Netherlands, Europe.

Manufacturers are abiding by the guidelines mentioned in the local health advisory to pursue their production activities amidst the COVID-19 era. As such, many production units have been temporarily shut down to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. In due course, companies in the agriculture tire market are taking efforts to evaluate market conditions in order to reopen their manufacturing facilities.

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Agriculture Tire Mobile Apps Offer Safety and Efficiency in Farming Operations

Digital innovations are bringing about a significant change in the agriculture tire market. For instance, in December 2019, leading German multinational automotive parts manufacturing company Continental AG announced the launch of Agriculture TireTech, an innovative agriculture app, which serves as a pressure and load calculator in order to achieve optimal safety and efficiency, while using Continental agricultural tires. With the help of mobile apps, companies in the agriculture tire market are aiming to expand their portfolio in comprehensive digital services and solutions for its customers.

Various stakeholders in the agriculture tire market such as tire dealers and contractual partners are able to expand their business activities with the help of agriculture mobile apps. One of the key usage of these mobile apps is its ability to assess the right pressure in agriculture tires depending on the load.

Disruptive Technologies in Smart Agriculture Tires Keep Users Informed with Digital Platforms

Companies in the agriculture tire market are increasing their R&D activities in interconnected products in order to make farming more versatile and efficient. For instance, Nokian Tyres— a global leader in cars, trucks, and heavy-duty equipment tire manufacturing, participated in the Agritechnica 2019 exhibition to showcase its Nokian Tyres Intuitu, which is a novel introduction in the sphere of smart agriculture tire solutions. On the other hand, companies in the agriculture tire market are directing their investments toward the development of multi-use tractor tires used for agriculture and contracting. This is evident since tractor applications dictate the highest revenue among all applications in the agriculture tire market, which is estimated to reach a value of ~US$ 15 Bn by the end of 2030.

The trend of connected tires is bolstering market growth. This has catalyzed innovations in sensor and digital technologies in tires as companies develop digital platforms that deliver insights on users’ mobile phones.

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Manufacturers Develop Tires with High Contraction to Support Hillside Farming Operations

Manufacturers in the agriculture tire market are developing wheels that support farming operations on hill slopes. In order to achieve this, the sidewalls of tires are engineered to bulge in instead of out. For instance, European agriculture tire manufacturer, Mitas, which is part of the Trelleborg AB group, is increasing its marketing efforts for its Trelleborg PneuTrac tire that delivers unbeatable traction and stability regardless of pressure. Such innovations are triggering growth in the agriculture tire market.

There is a growing demand for agriculture tires in tractors that can withstand challenging applications on plots where high capacity, weight, and soil compaction are a constant conflict.

Collaborations with Tractor Manufacturers Help Fulfill Demanding Applications of Tires

The agriculture tire market is expected to expand at a favorable CAGR of ~5% during the forecast period. However, the ever-evolving nature of the agriculture industry creates new challenges for companies in the agriculture tire market. Hence, companies are collaborating with tractor and agricultural machine manufacturers to meet specific requirements of end users. As such, there is a high demand for winter and all-round agriculture tires.

Intelligent hybrid tires are a novel introduction in the agriculture tire market. Manufacturers are increasing their R&D activities to integrate pressure sensors in tires to help the operator minimize soil compaction in fields and reduce wear on the road. Hybrid agriculture tires allow the operator to efficiently adjust the pressure according to the task.

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Discount Tires versus Quality Tractor Tires: Which is better?

One of the major problems that end users face is to differentiate between prices of different brands of agriculture tires. Customers are perplexed whether to invest in expensive quality agriculture tires or opt for the low-end tires that are less expensive. As such, the agriculture tire market is largely consolidated with major players accounting for over 45% of the market stake. Since rest of the market stake is governed by emerging and other fragmented players, many unscrupulous manufacturers in the agriculture tire market provide customers with discount agriculture tires that are produced from low-quality raw materials. Hence, prominent market players are educating customers about the construction of casing and profiles of high-tech agriculture tires to increase their uptake in the market.

Moreover, advantageous attributes such as cross stabilizing ply and robust sidewalls in high-end agricultural tires are creating value for customers.

Analysts’ Viewpoint

The demand for critical size agriculture tires has increased in Europe amidst the COVID-19 pandemic. Hybrid agricultural tires are a novel introduction in the agriculture tire market that allow operators to adjust pressure settings according to the load. Moreover, mobile apps are becoming increasingly popular to measure pressure and load capacities in agricultural tires.

Tubeless tires are growing prominent in farm tractors. However, in many cases, users need to carry out cumbersome tasks to reset the bead seal in order to air up the tire. Hence, companies should increase awareness about easy hacks such as putting extra pounds of air into tires to avoid the bead from breaking loose on hillsides.

Agriculture Tire Market: Overview

  • The global agriculture tire market is anticipated to expand at a CAGR of ~4% during the forecast period, owing to increased use of agricultural equipment worldwide to achieve better farm yields
  • China, India, and the U.S. hold key shares of the agriculture tire market globally, owing to the presence of a larger number of in-use tractors and high sales of new tractors in these countries

Drivers of Agriculture Tire Market

  • Growing mechanization in agriculture in Middle East & Africa and Latin America regions is projected to boost the agriculture tire market in these regions. Financial support and subsidies from various governments and food organizations, such as FAO, is boosting the adoption of tractors in developing countries and is thus, anticipated to drive the agriculture tire market in these countries.
  • Tractors were earlier used for simple applications such as plowing, tilling. Presently, tractors perform an array of operations such as irrigation, harvesting, and fertilizer spreader; hence, more specialized tires with larger rim size are used, which are more expensive. Until 2009, the largest agriculture tire had a circumference of 243 inches; however, currently, tire manufactures are offering sizes as large as 256 inches. The overall increase in the size of the tire has fueled the price of the tire and, in turn, is boosting the market, in terms of revenue.

Challenges for Agriculture Tire Market

  • Manufacturing cost of the tire is largely dictated by the price of raw materials such as natural rubber and Brent crude. Volatility in the market price has a negative impact on tire manufacturers.

Segmentation of Agriculture Tire Market

  • Based on application, the global agriculture tire market has been segregated into tractors, harvesters, implements, irrigation, forestry, and others. The tractor segment held a leading share of the global agriculture tire market in 2019, due to government initiatives and commercial farming boosting the sales of tractors. The irrigation segment is anticipated to expand at a high growth rate, owing to trends such as pivot irrigation, which drive the demand for irrigation tires.
  • Based on equipment horsepower, North America is witnessing a high demand for low & medium horsepower or 0-80HP equipment, as a majority of farms are family-owned, and consumers are opting for low interest rate purchase of affordable smaller tractors. The 80-200HP segment of the market in Europe and Asia Pacific region is estimated to expand significantly, as small fragmented farms are being acquired and being converted into larger commercialized farms that requires larger tractors. Furthermore, the use of implements and tractor attachments is increasing in Asia Pacific, which requires high horsepower tractors. This, in turn, is likely to boost the 80-200HP segment of the agriculture tire market in the region.
  • Based on tire type, the bias tire segment dominated the global agriculture tire market. Radial tires have highest penetration in Europe and the segment held a relatively minor share of the market in Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa in 2019. Developing regions such as Asia Pacific, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa are price sensitive markets and hence, consumers refrain from buying expensive radial tires. Decrease in price of raw material and production cost and increase in consumer purchase power are estimated to boost the demand for radial tires in these developing regions.
  • Based on sales channel, the agriculture tire market has been classified into OEM and aftermarket. The aftermarket segment held a leading share of the global market in 2019, due to the wear and tear nature of the tire and requirement for periodic replacement. The OEM segment is anticipated to expand, due to the rise in sales of tractors and agriculture equipment in Latin America & Middle East & Africa during the forecast period.

Agriculture Tire Market: Regional Analysis

  • Based on region, the global agriculture tire market has been segregated into North America, Asia Pacific, Europe, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa
  • Asia Pacific held a prominent share of the global agriculture tire market in 2019 with China and India being major contributors. China and India together account for a significantly high number of tractors in use worldwide. Thus, they offer significant opportunities to manufacturers of agriculture tires. Availability of key raw material such as natural rubber, inexpensive labor, and high domestic demand for tires has helped the emergence and expansion of key players in the region.
  • Asia Pacific is followed by North America and Europe, in terms of share of the global market, with the U.S., Germany, France, Italy, and Turkey being major contributors in the region. The agriculture tire market in these regions is projected to expand with the increase in population and growing mechanization rate boosting the usage of tractors, which in turn is driving the demand for agriculture tire.

Agriculture Tire Market: Competition Landscape

  • Major companies in the global agriculture tire market are expected to benefit from the formation of strategic associations with global players involved in the agriculture tire market. The market witnesses the existence of key players who have strong worldwide existence and firm establishments, coupled with diverse product portfolios. Prominent players operating in the global agriculture tire market include
    • Balkrishna Industries Limited (BKT)
    • Bridgestone Corporation
    • Continental AG
    • MICHELIN
    • Mitas
    • China National Rubber Tire Co.
    • Trelleborg AB
    • Titan International, Inc.
    • Sumitomo Rubber Industries Ltd.
    •  Pirelli & C. S.p.A.

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