Winter tire prices rise, some shortages possible

George Iny
October 22, 2021

Media reports have mentioned possible shortages of winter tires this year, a consequence of the supply chain and production issues that impacted other consumer purchases, like bicycles, sporting equipment and boats. So far, there is no equivalent to the production shortages that have decimated new vehicle inventories.

People are shopping earlier this autumn because they`ve experienced shortages of other consumer goods. Talon Tire, the APA`s recommended tire dealer in the Montreal area, told us that several tiremakers have said re-ordering mid-fall will be difficult. Some sizes will run out, but how that translates in the marketplace is unclear. Other sizes will be well supplied because the new vehicles they were intended to fit weren`t manufactured at all. Tire availability for less common sizes isn`t as broad -- you may end up buying your second or third tire choice. Shipping costs and bottlenecks have reduced the supply of low-priced, and usually low performing, winter tires from China. On the other hand, the drop in new vehicle deliveries, and last winter`s reduced driving due to COVID-19 restrictions have reduced the demand for both new and replacement winter tires.

Container shipping charges are driving most of this year`s jump in prices. Winter tire price increases were applied last spring and range from 3-12% compared to a year ago. Alloy and steel wheel prices have increased more than tires, about 20% due to shipping costs.




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