The inexorable rise in the price of crude oil has hit motorists badly over the last month or so. It seems now that the hard-pressed motorist is going to be hit again by rising tyre prices. This is, once again, a direct consequence of inflated oil prices.
Oil is an important raw material in tyre manufacture, and the current price of crude oil ($135 per barrel) has pushed tyre manufacturing costs up by 15% over the last four months. Some producers, such as Goodyear, have mitigated the impact of these rises by using natural, rather than synthetic, rubber. However, this has increased demand on the rubber market, and prices of the natural raw material are rising rapidly.
A large proportion of these increases has been absorbed by retailers, but that can only be done for a finite length of time, and the increases will have to be passed on to the end user at some point.
The imminent price rises will make it increasingly worthwhile for motorists to shop around and look beyond the traditional suppliers in order to find the best value for money in the tyre market.