India: tile output up, but import threat from east

In April-October 2005, Indian production of glazed and ceramic tiles rose by 26% to 585,270 tonnes versus an increase of 5% during April-October 2004, according to the Central Statistical Organisation…

In April-October 2005, Indian production of glazed and ceramic tiles rose by 26% to 585,270 tonnes versus an increase of 5% during April-October 2004, according to the Central Statistical Organisation (CSO). H and R Johnson Tiles Ltd (HRJTL), which leads the market in the south and west of the country, aims to capture 30% of the market in the north. To this end, HRJTL has acquired 50% stakes in two Gujarat companies: Antique Granito, whose capacity is 5,000 square meters per day and Specific Ceramics, with a daily capacity of 16,000 square meters. HRJTL wants to increase the capacities of the 2 companies to 12,000 square meters per day and 40,000 square meters per day respectively. HRJTL also wants to set up a greenfield manufacturing plant in Rajasthan with a daily capacity of 25,000 square meters. It aims to have a total capacity of 125,000 square meters per day by the end of 2006-2007 and to double its profit from INR 5.41 billion in 2004-2005 to INR 10 billion. Kajaria Ceramics Ltd has increased the capacity of its Sikandrabad (Uttar Pradesh) plant from 13.8 million square meters per annum to 18 million square meters per annum. Kajaria has plans to further increase its capacity to 26.4 million square meters per annum by September 2006. Nitco Tiles Ltd is expanding its capacity from 4.03 million square meters per annum to 6.3 million square meters per annum by June 2006. Although imports from China account for only 4% of the total Indian market, imports are rising. Vitrified tiles imported from China are less expensive. Unable to compete on price, Nitco has arranged for supply of 4 million square meters of vitrified tiles per annum from China.