Tile manufacturer says despite higher tariffs imports rising

16 June 2015 06:24 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Importation of floor and wall tiles into Sri Lanka despite high import tariffs is threatening the local tile manufacturing industry, according to the market leader Royal Ceramics PLC.

“Despite negative Board of Investment (BoI) concessions, the imported tiles sector continues to flourish, accounting for a significant 30 percent of market share,” Royal Ceramics Managing Director Nimal Perera said.

The company said that importation of tiles from India, China, Indonesia and Europe is poorly regulated, leading to low-cost imports.

“(This is) threatening the local businesses and causing a drain of foreign exchange; this poorly-regulated sector requires that stringent measures be put into place,” Perera added.

He further said that these same countries have ‘anti-dumping laws’ in place to safeguard their local tiling and sanitaryware industries.

India and China are the global leaders in the tile industry due to their economies of scale. However, Royal Ceramics too has found a significant presence in Australia and New Zealand, the Far East, North America, South Asia, the Middle East and Europe due to the quality of mineral composition in the clay found in Sri Lanka.

Royal Ceramics has captured around 60 percent of the domestic market as well.

Customers are purchasing imported tiles due to their low cost and the significantly high price of locally manufactured tiles. It is interesting to note that local tile manufacturing companies also import foreign manufactured tiles for sale.

Meanwhile, the company also called for the streamlining of regulations for the local mining and quarrying sector so that operations can run more efficiently with better productivity.

Business magnate Dhammika Perera’s Vallibel One PLC owns 51 percent of Royal Ceramics. Perera, through Royal Ceramics, controls three other main tile manufacturers in the country, virtually carving out a monopoly for himself.
  (CW)
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