Raw materials cost: Match units begin stir
The safety match manufacturers in Kovilpatti and its surrounding areas in Thoothukudi district and parts of Sattur in neighboring Virudhunagar district have gone on strike in protest against the unprecedented rise in cost of raw material. As production has been suspended from Wednesday thousands of workers have been left jobless.
MADURAI: According to M Paramasivam, president, National Small Match Manufacturers Association, Kovilpatti, the 12-day strike would go on till April 17. Hundreds of factories in Kovilpatti, Sattur and 50 more, which come under Tamil Nadu Match Manufacturers Association, in Gudiyatham were closed on day one of the strike.
The rise in costs of raw material and an unsteady market has caused concern among manufacturers. A kg of potassium chlorate, priced at Rs 72 earlier, now costs Rs 102 per kg. While the price of phosphorus doubled to Rs 820 a kg, cardboard costs also doubled and shot up to Rs 70 a kg from Rs 32.
Owing to the steep increase in raw material costs, production cost has increased manifold, but the manufacturers are unable to recoup the cost of production. Match box remains the only consumer product available at Re 1 in the market for many years now. ‘We have no other choice but to market the product at a distress sale price as many fear that any hike in the cost of match-box will further affect the trade,” Paramasivam told DT Next.
The match industry is already facing stiff competition in domestic market due to illegal cigar lighters. On the other hand, export is not up to the mark since exporters are feeling the brunt of increase in freight costs, Paramasivam said.