Morbi ceramic makers to hike tile prices
Ceramic tiles are set to cost more as the manufacturers in India's largest ceramic products cluster at Morbi have decided to raise prices of different types of tiles - vitrified, wall and floor tiles - from the beginning of April. The prices will be hiked in the range of 10-20% in the wake of increase in cost of production. Ever since the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ordered closure of ceramic tile manufacturing units run on coal gasifiers in Morbi and Wankaner region, such plants using coal gasifiers have now started switching to natural gas to run their plants.
According to industry players, the cost of gas produced from coal gasifiers worked out to be Rs 18-20 per cubic metre, while piped natural gas (PNG) supplied to the industry currently costs Rs 36 per cubic metre. "Apart from this, prices of some raw materials have also surged, putting pressure on our production cost," said Mukesh Ughreja, president, Vitrified Tiles Division of MCA. Following the green tribunal's order early March, Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) had issued closure notices to nearly half of the 1,000-odd units in Morbi and Wankaner for using coal gasifiers. As many as 450 ceramic tile makers in Morbi had to temporarily close their operations to switch over to natural gas. These units have already started using the cleaner fuel. This could be seen from the fact that the supply of industrial PNG to Morbi has increased from 2.50 million metric standard cubic metre per day (mmscmd) to 3.75mmscmd, said market sources.