No hike in matchbox price from Dec 1; manufacturers' association holds back decision

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Kottayam: Citing lack of support from many matchbox manufacturing companies, the association of matchbox manufacturers in Tamil Nadu’s Sivakasi which has over 600 companies under it, has decided to temporally hold back from its decision to increase matchbox price from December 1.

The association has decided that matchbox price will be hiked only after more deliberations. The attempt is to increase the price from Rs 1 to Rs 2 from January 2022 onwards.

According to Kumar Babu, Director of Sivakasi Safety Match Works and the association representative of the manufacturers’ association, the price hike will be implemented after ensuring support of all. The manufacturers are forced to increase the price of matchbox due to high cost of raw materials.

Meanwhile, it is important to note that matchbox manufacturing in Kerala is very limited. However, many are involved in production of sticks that have been supplied to companies in Sivakasi.

According to Baby John, owner of Vijaya Match Factory in Kottayam’s Veliyannoor, the companies in Sivakasi are taking sticks at a rate of Rs 4,500 per quintal. It is difficult to get the suitable wood for the production of matchsticks, he said.

Interestingly, though matchsticks made in Kerala are used in many matchbox brands, the boxes are manufactured at Sivakasi. Based on the requests of the companies, the sticks are provided to them in the name of their choice.

It is learnt that average profit from a matchbox is less than 10 paise. However, the name of the matchbox is used for advertising other products in the same name, said an oil merchant from Kothattukulam.

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