By Denna Bowman
Chinese manufacturers produced 654.64 million tyres during 2009, up 18 per cent on the previous year.
According to data released by the China National Bureau of Statistics (CNBS), 57.19 million tyres were produced in China in December alone, a staggering 52 per cent rise compared with 2008.
All eyes have been on the industry after the US slapped steep duties on Chinese consumer tyres from four per cent to to 35 per cent from 26th September 2009 in response to a trade action brought earlier in the year by the United Steelworkers union.
The Obama administration acted in response to a USW claim that a surge in Chinese tyre imports was putting the domestic industry and American jobs at risk.
The additional duties will fall to 30 and 25 percent when they come into effect from September 2010 and September 2011.
However, despite this blow China produced almost 20 per cent more tyres in 2009 than it did the previous year.