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Detergents threaten price hike

Detergents manufacturers in the country today said prices of their products could see a hike of up to 12 per cent if a move to impose anti-dumping duty on soda ash goes ahead.

business Updated: Sep 24, 2010 20:54 IST

Detergents manufacturers in the country on Friday said prices of their products could see a hike of up to 12 per cent if a move to impose anti-dumping duty on soda ash goes ahead.

"If anti-dumping duty is imposed on soda ash, there will be an increase in input cost of detergents and will ultimately be passed on to the consumers," All-India Detergents Association General Secretary Rajiv Mathur told PTI.

Soda ash is a key ingredient for making detergent, accounting for around 30 per cent of the total product formulation cost for low-priced detergents and 15 per cent for premium detergents.

"The combined impact of the safeguard and anti-dumping duty will result in a 10-12 per cent increase in detergent input costs," he said.

Mathur said the increase will be reflected in prices of the final product. The hike could be more if other raw material prices also increase.

The association, which has FMCG giants Hindustan Unilever and Procter & Gamble as members, said it plans to approach the government by next week to oppose the move for imposing anti-dumping duty on soda ash.

Last month, the DG Safeguards had initiated investigations into alleged dumping of soda ash by countries like China, the EU, Kenya, Pakistan, Iran, Ukraine and the USA. The move came after the Alkali Manufacturers Association of India (AMAI) filed an application.

The Indian detergent market is estimated to be worth around Rs 10,000 crore and currently has about 1,000 brands in the country.

"It represents a great threat to the large, medium and small scale detergent manufacturers and related supplying industries in the country," Mathur said.

At present, there are four soda ash manufacturers -- Tata Chemicals, Gujarat Heavy Chemicals Limited (GHCL), Nirma/Saukem and DCW.