40% of the total laminate factories in the country are located in Gujarat. Ahmedabad, Morbi are its main hub. Out of about 200 laminate factories in the country, more than 80 factories in Gujarat remained closed for a week in protest of the increase in raw material prices. Now factories have restarted productions from January 18. Troubled by the short supply of raw material and the issues of price rise, laminate sheet manufacturers organizedly complied with the closure decision.
After Diwali this year, the price of raw material has gone up by 25 to 35 per cent. The price of melamine had gone up from Rs 120 to Rs 125 per kg, while the sharp rise in kraft paper and decor paper had raised concerns among laminate manufacturers. The supply of papers from China was only 40 to 50 per cent.
“Price hike in laminate sheets is inevitable and it needs to be implemented soon”Dhiraj Patel, Partner-Sayaji Laminates.
On one hand there was the problem of short supply of raw materials from China and price rise, on the other hand the government had also increased import duty on it. Due to decline in production of raw materials in India, two out of three units of melamine produced in GSFC were closed. Another factory in Gujarat did not meet the demand and the price hike cycles continued.
An increase in the price of laminate sheets was inevitable to meet the 25 to 35 per cent increase in raw material prices, but for some reason it did not materialize, making it difficult to run factories. “A slight reduction in the price of raw materials and a favourable demand in the sale of laminate sheets has given some relief to the producers and the factories are getting production at an efficiency of 40 to 50 per cent. However, price hike in laminate sheets is inevitable and it needs to be implemented soon”said Dhirajbhai Patel, partner, Sayaji Laminate (Vadodara).