According to a report by Nanyang, tyre and battery prices in Malaysia are expected to go up in 2017, with imported new and reconditioned tyres (except those from China) said to be priced between 5-10% more than before. Meanwhile, the price of tyres from China will be hiked by more than 10%.

One of the reasons behind the hike, said Wu Suxing, president of the Johor State Tyre Dealers Association, is due to increasing price of raw materials, particularly the SMR20 (Standard Malaysian Rubber) rubber.

In January, the average price of SMR20 (data from the Malaysian Rubber Board) was 466.89 sen/KG, but has since progressively increased to an average of 837.89 sen/KG in December. The depreciating Malaysian ringgit is also cited as a factor for the tyre price hike.

Among the brands that sell imported tyres in Malaysia include Bridgestone, Michelin, Falken and Yokohama, while other companies such as Goodyear, Toyo, Silverstone and Continental have local factories here, as mentioned in the report.

Aside from tyres, the price of batteries is also expected to go up next year by up to 10%, due to not only the depreciating ringgit, but the soaring price of lead from US$1,800 (RM8,072) per metric tonne to about US$2,500 (RM11,211) per metric tonne.

Wu Suxing also mentioned that tyre/battery suppliers usually have an inventory that lasts for two months, so customers may still be able to purchase new tyres/batteries at current prices. He added that some suppliers might choose to absorb the price hike themselves.