The markets are jittery with various announcements of price increase in every product category of wood panel and decorative trade. Trade is reacting to repeated price increase circulars and announcements by different companies, industry, cluster associations and brands. There is unrest among dealers because of uncertainty on prices as their forward chain is not cooperating and hence the consumption is declining. There is no evident data but in few of the cases, dealers have secured orders from end customers, and invested by supplying materials but combined impact of price rise and payment pressure is evident.
A likely way-out is not visible for Indian manufacturing companies. Dependency on imports is another reason for the suffering. As of now, new plywood prices have been implemented by increase in the range of 7-10% in August first week, followed by around Rs 1.50/- in shuttering plywood category. Other material manufacturers, example Decorative Laminates and Particle Boards segment have also geared up to pass on Rs. 20/- to 45/- per sheet of varying thickness.
We hardly question the prices of Cars, Mobile phones and other consumer durables, but when it comes to wood panel products, there is a lot of resistance. Let’s introspect and find a way forward.
The price increase announcements in PVC boards, PVC laminate sheets, Edge band tape, Exterior panels, Aluminium composite panels are also a matter of few days or a week. Our survey and contractors’ estimate reveal an increase of Rs.150/- to 250/- per square feet of woodwork in markets on the basis of standard price of INR 350-400 psf. The interior wood working cost to consumers has gone up by 70 to 80 percent hence there is a push for readymade buying in middle class segment. With irregular sales on retail shops and pressure on price rise is dampening the industry growth.
The onus to put a cease on rising prices is on Industry associations who are expected to find the causes of and take suitable measures to put a cap on it. The wood panel industry associations are so fragmented and small that, their presentation and appeal do not yield a desired outcome. Often, leading people from the trade point finger on ‘why association only issue letter for price rise?’ Why not they raise points related to under-thickness of materials, sub-standard process and goods, duplicity, or making bigger effort to organise the industry and making this industry more respectable?
If wood panel sector is compared to other building materials, there is a great need to be organized and that is when some checks and measures can be taken by the industry groups on hostility and cartelisation of jacking up material rates. Certainly, there’s a lot to do on making our industry stronger by standing united and becoming a formal business sector.
In general, we hardly question the prices of other consumer durables like Cars, Fridge, Air conditioners, even Mobile phones but when it comes to wood panel our dealers resist a lot. Let’s introspect and find a way forward. Till then, co-operate, keep a keen eye and walk with caution.
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Pragat Dvivedi Founder Editor Mail to “firstname.lastname@example.org”, ( M) 9310612991.