Crackers will cost a bomb this year as production drops – The New Indian Express

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By Express press service

CHENNAI/COIMBATORE/VIRUDHUNAGAR: As retail cracker shops have sprung up across the state ahead of Deepavali this year, rising raw material costs and low production are weighing heavily on traders and the buyers. Traders in the city predict cracker prices could rise 20-50% depending on the variety due to the sharp drop in production.

Puneethan, a cracker retailer in Chennai, said prices for most crackers rose by 30% as prices for raw materials and packaging items like cardboard rose. “Production has been impacted by rains and legal issues related to green crackers. There is a gap between demand and supply for some branded items and sparklers (Kambi Mathappu, Bushvanam in Tamil) as they need to be dried,” he added.

As the industry shifts to green crackers, production has fallen by 70%, noted Peer Anees Raja, an Island Grounds trader and association representative. “Manufacturing crackers to Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) standards takes time and manufacturers have yet to adapt to this method,” he said.

The aftermath of the pandemic persists and traders believe it is not possible to reach pre-Covid sales levels this year. The total value of cracker sales in Chennai before 2019 is Rs 100 crore (approximately), but only a third of that happened in the past two years, traders add.

Also in Coimbatore, commodity prices have soared leading to skyrocketing cracker prices this year. V Chinnusami, Chairman of the Coimbatore Retail Cracker Sellers Association said, “A box of sparklers which cost Rs 50 last year is now selling for Rs 65 – 70. A piece of fancy cracker has risen to Rs 70 from at last year’s rate of Rs 60. .”

Chinnusami added that despite the government’s ban on online cracker sales, there were no regulations, and it would impact retailers. TN merchants have urged the state to crack down on unauthorized cracker sales, both online and offline.

Production at Sivakasi has fallen by 40% across all units, says S Srinivasan, a firecracker maker. This comes after soaring prices for raw materials, some of which must be imported, and a drop in market demand due to time constraints on cracker popping. “Such a situation has led to an increase in cracking rates,” the Sivakasi maker added.

The sale of crackers at Island Grounds, Chennai is set to open to the public from Monday. Preparatory work is underway for the 45 stores to come. Basic amenities such as restrooms, disabled pick-up and drop-off facilities, and food courts will soon be ready. Outlets will appear at Purasawalkam and NSC Bose Road.

After customer complaints about the authenticity of green crackers last year, manufacturers and retailers said only branded green crackers would be on the market this year.

CHENNAI/COIMBATORE/VIRUDHUNAGAR: As retail cracker shops have sprung up across the state ahead of Deepavali this year, rising raw material costs and low production are weighing heavily on traders and the buyers. Traders in the city predict cracker prices could rise 20-50% depending on the variety due to the sharp drop in production. Puneethan, a cracker retailer in Chennai, said prices for most crackers rose by 30% as prices for raw materials and packaging items like cardboard rose. “Production has been impacted by rains and legal issues related to green crackers. There is a gap between demand and supply for some branded items and sparklers (Kambi Mathappu, Bushvanam in Tamil) as they need to be dried,” he added. As the industry shifts to green crackers, production has fallen by 70%, noted Peer Anees Raja, an Island Grounds trader and association representative. “Manufacturing crackers to Petroleum and Explosives Safety Organization (PESO) standards takes time and manufacturers have yet to adapt to this method,” he said. The aftermath of the pandemic persists and traders believe it is not possible to reach pre-Covid sales levels this year. The total value of cracker sales in Chennai before 2019 is Rs 100 crore (approximately), but only a third of that happened in the past two years, traders add. Also in Coimbatore, commodity prices have soared leading to skyrocketing cracker prices this year. V Chinnusami, Chairman of the Coimbatore Retail Cracker Sellers Association said, “A box of sparklers which cost Rs 50 last year is now selling for Rs 65 – 70. A piece of fancy cracker has risen to Rs 70 from at last year’s rate of Rs 60. .” Chinnusami added that despite the government’s ban on online cracker sales, there were no regulations, and it would impact retailers. TN merchants have urged the state to crack down on unauthorized cracker sales, both online and offline. Production at Sivakasi has fallen by 40% across all units, says S Srinivasan, a firecracker maker. This comes after soaring prices for raw materials, some of which must be imported, and a drop in market demand due to time constraints on cracker popping. “Such a situation has led to an increase in cracking rates,” the Sivakasi maker added. The sale of crackers at Island Grounds, Chennai is set to open to the public from Monday. Preparatory work is underway for the 45 stores to come. Basic amenities such as restrooms, disabled pick-up and drop-off facilities, and food courts will soon be ready. Outlets will appear at Purasawalkam and NSC Bose Road. After customer complaints about the authenticity of green crackers last year, manufacturers and retailers said only branded green crackers would be on the market this year.

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