Economist: Rubber shortage may be another Katrina consequence
The construction industry should watch for a shortage of rubber for tires, another aspect of the fallout of Hurricane Katrina, said Jack Kyser, chief economist for the Los Angeles Economic Development Corp., in an interview with American Shipper Tuesday.
The Port of New Orleans' impact as a hub of rubber and cement imports was discussed by Kyser during a conference call with national economists. With worldwide heavy-duty equipment tire supply already stretched by booming demand in Asia, the hurricane could set U.S. demand even higher as construction and mining operations ratchet up.
Nearly 495,000 tons of rubber were imported through New Orleans in 2004.