KARACHI: Manufacturers of two and three-wheelers and auto loaders jacked up prices in the range of Rs500-Rs10,000 citing rising raw material prices in the international market and recent bouts of currency devaluation.
Crown Motorcycle, manufacturer of bikes and loaders, raised prices by Rs2,000-5,000 on Thursday. In addition, rickshaw and motorcycle manufacturer Road Prince jacked up prices in the range of Rs500-6,000 for various models effective from June 1.
The assemblers, in a circular issued to the bike dealers, said the price hike was mainly due to a rise in prices of steel, plastic and rubber in the international markets coupled with inflationary impact following rupee’s devaluation which has pushed the local currency to record low of Rs152 against the greenback.
Unique Motorcycles had already increased prices of 70cc bikes by Rs 1,000, 100cc by Rs 2,000, and Rs 10,000 in the prices of 150cc and 250cc three wheeler auto loader on May 21.
Also, N. J. Auto Industries — makers of Super Power brand, pushed up prices of 70-250cc bikes by Rs 1,000-2,000 on May 20 whereas United Auto Industries increased price by Rs 500 on 70cc to 125cc bikes from June 1.
Manufacturers’ claims of rise in raw material costs due to depreciation are puzzling since sources claim that the industry has already achieved 94pc localisation. However, the country’s import bill for completely and semi-knocked kits rose to $679 million during the first ten months of the current fiscal year compared to $655m in same period last year.
But rising petrol prices coupled with increases in the bike prices since the last five months have dented bike sales across the country since January 2018, a bike dealer explained.
Data for two-wheeler sales have shown contrasting trend in the last 10 months as Honda managed to sell 928,931 units compared to 953,556 units whereas sales of Suzuki and Yamaha increased to 19,669 and 19,999 units respectively.
Rising prices of imported food items
“Consumers will have to bear another 15pc price hike on account of new wave of rupee devaluation,” Karachi Wholesalers Grocers Association (KWGA) Patron-in-Chief Anis Majeed warned.
He said import of pulses is vulnerable to exchange rate as Pakistan produces only 500,000-600,000 tonnes against total consumption of 1.4-1.5m tonnes per annum.
The deficit of around 700,000 tonnes is being imported from America, Canada, Australia, China, Russia, Ukraine, Burma and African continent to meet country’s demand.
He said demand of gram pulse in Ramazan alone swells to over 180,000 tonnes from 62,500 tonnes per month normally as gram is heavily used in making besan (gram flour).
He said wholesalers of imported food items like pulses had already passed on the impact of rupee depreciation and rising diesel prices during the last nine months.
Published in Dawn, May 24th, 2019