Effective December 1, the price of a matchbox would be Rs 2 from the present Re 1 and this is in view of a rise in production cost, triggered by an increase in price of raw materials, the industry body said. Consumers would, however, get more matchsticks in a box when they buy it at Rs 2, up from 36 matchsticks to 50 per box.
The proposed price increase comes after a gap of 14 years, Secretary of the National Small Matchbox Manufacturers Association, VS Sethurathinam said. The price of raw materials has increased leading to a jump in cost of production, he said, adding, "We have no other option but to increase the selling (Maximum Retail Price) price."
The price of all the 14 key raw materials has increased. "A kilo of red phosphorous has increased from Rs 410 to Rs 850, wax from Rs 72 to Rs 85, potassium chlorate Rs 68 to Rs 80, splints (sticks) from Rs 42 to Rs 48. Outer box Rs 42 to Rs 55 and inner box from Rs 38 to Rs 48. Like this, the price of all raw materials have increased manifold," he said.
"The rise in fuel prices is also a factor. It has led to an increase in transportation cost." Hence, from December 1, the price of a matchbox would be increased to Rs 2 (MRP) from the present Re 1, he said. "After about six months we may review the situation. In 2007, the price was increased from fifty paise to Re 1 per matchbox."