MRF Considering Price Rise - Tire Review Magazine

MRF Considering Price Rise

(Clacton, U.K./Tyres & Accessories) Indian tyre maker MRF Ltd. is considering a price rise of up to 6% to meet a sharp increase in rubber and oil prices, a top official said.

However, the company would decide the timing and degree of the increase only after watching market conditions and the strategy of competitors, said Philip Eapen, executive director for marketing.

"Eventually if we do not increase our prices fully, there will be a time when we will incur losses," he continued.

Over the last three months, the company has increased benchmark truck tyre prices by nearly 9% following a 50% rise in natural rubber prices. Components such as rubber and oil make up about 70% of the cost of a tyre.

The company, Eapen said, had begun talks with automobile firms for a possible price rise. "They are quite appreciative of the problem. Without price increases they know the tyre industry will come to a halt," he said.

MRF planned to stagger its price rise because the market won’t absorb a single large hike, he said, adding that the raise would be higher for products with a large natural rubber content like tractor tyres.

Rival tyre manufacturer Apollo Tyres Ltd. has begun a 12%-15% price increase across certain categories. Others such as J.K. Industries Ltd. and Ceat Ltd. have also said they are negotiating a price hike with customers.

Natural rubber prices are hovering at 105 Rupees a kg (1.79 euros), compared with 50-60 Rupees (0.85–1.02 euros) a year ago.

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