Mumbai: Tyre makers, including JK Tyre and Ceat Ltd, have hiked prices of their products by two to four percent from October 1 due to a substantial rise in rates of key raw material natural rubber in the last six months.
"We have increased tyre prices by two to four percent
from October 1 owing to a rise in input costs," JK Tyre &
Industries Director (Marketing) A S Mehta told reporters here.
The company has hiked the price of its heavy commercial
vehicles tyres by two percent, of light vehicles by three to
four percent and of other vehicles by two to three percent,
RPG Group's Ceat Ltd has also increased prices of both
its two- and three-wheeler tyres by two to three percent
from October 1.
"We have increased our two- and three-wheeler tyre
prices by two to three percent from October 1," company's
Managing Director Paras Chowdhary said.
Mehta attributed price hike to escalation in raw material
prices of natural and synthetic rubber, carbon black and nylon
cord which have been steadily increasing.
Natural rubber prices have risen about 50 percent to
Rs 10,500/100 kg in the last six months, according to the
Rubber Board data. Rubber accounts for about half of the total
raw material cost of tyre companies.
Tyre prices of heavy commercial vehicles are likely to
be raised by two to four percent in the third week of this
month, Chowdhary said.
Prices of natural rubber and other raw materials such
as crude derivatives continue to remain high, Apollo Tyres'
Managing Director Neeraj Kanwar said.
While the company has so far been absorbing the higher
costs, now it was "assessing the situation on a day-to-day
basis," Kanwar said, adding "if and when we decide to
undertake a price hike, it will be done gradually."
The last price increase took place in October 2008, and
in February this year, producers reduced the prices of heavy
commercial vehicle tyres by about nine percent following a
cut in excise duty from 14 percent to eight percent, an
industry source said.
"Tyre companies have been facing a problem as natural
rubber and other raw material prices have risen substantially
in the last few months," Automotive Tyre Manufacturers
Association (ATMA), Director General, Rajiv Budhraja, said.
Imports are not a viable option at this point of time
as the difference between local prices and imported prices
have narrowed down to Rs two to three per kg from Rs 18-20
earlier, Budhraja said.
In the April-August period, rubber production in India
fell 13 percent as compared to the same period last year to
Automotive tyre exports fell 22 percent in July to
4,46,418 units as against 5,71,479 units registered in the
same period last year. In fact, there has been a steady drop
in exports in the last few months.
First Published: Sunday, October 11, 2009, 13:14