‘Domestic tile manufacturers continue to suffer owing to higher production costs and uneven competition from cheaper imported products’
ISLAMABAD: All Pakistan Ceramic Tiles Manufacturers Association (APCTMA) is hopeful that in the upcoming mini-budget, the government would take steps that would enable the local tiles manufacturers to increase their market share in Pakistan which would result in saving precious foreign exchange and creating employment opportunities for the skilled and unskilled workforce.
The APCTMA spokesman said that the tile industry could grow and become an export-oriented industry if the government supports its manufacturing processes.
Owing to high input costs, including recent hike in gas prices (Rs600 to Rs780 per mmbtu), locally produced tiles are finding it hard to compete in local and global markets, said the spokesman, adding that huge influx of smuggled tiles and imports at lower valuation, which captures approximately over 40pc of the country’s tile market, is hurting local manufacturers as well as the govt’s revenue.
He said the government’s intention to take various business-friendly measures like reduction in duties and developing a national tariff policy to remove anomalies in the existing tariff structure would certainly help Pakistani economy grow.
“With direct and indirect employment of over 50,000, the local tiles industry can enhance the employment base further by exploring the export markets,” the spokesman said, adding that domestic manufacturers continue to suffer owing to their higher production costs and uneven competition from cheaper imported products.
“We have already highlighted that the current import tariff prices (ITPs) are unrealistic and serve to encourage imports, and these should immediately be reset back to 2004 levels. If we compare ITPs of 2004 with the existing one (from June 2016), it shows that the ITP has decreased for most tile sizes ranging from 5pc to 35pc,” he added.
According to details, the tiles (10” x 13” & above Ceramic), under the PCT Code 6907.2219, had a price of $3.53 per square meter before April 2004, while in June 2016, the price of the same tile was $2.55/sqm, showing a decrease of 28pc.
Similarly, two other categories of the tiles (12”x12” and above ceramic, 24”x24” and above polished), under the PCT Code 6907.2119, had prices of $3.70/sqm and $7.55/sqm while their prices came down to $2.70/sqm and $4.90/sqm respectively in June 2016, registering a decrease of 27pc and 35pc.
In addition, final anti-dumping duty was imposed in October 2018, ranging from 9.35pc to 36.35pc with a condition of price undertaking on porcelain and ceramic tiles (size wise).