21st February 2024
EP Report

The persistent gas crisis in Bangladesh has been severely hindering the nation's ceramics industry over the past three to four months, leading to a roughly 20 percent drop in overall production quality in the sector.


There are currently 68 establishments in the local ceramics sector, the market for which is worth over Tk 7,000 crore, according to industry people.


These manufacturers are largely reliant on gas-fired kilns, which offer precise temperature control, thereby reducing energy consumption and enhancing product quality.


However, only 80 percent of the manufactured products are reaching the quality threshold at present due to the gas crisis, with the rest being discarded as waste.


This greatly increased the cost of production, which was already spiraling due to hikes in gas prices, and the depreciation of the local currency against the US dollar.


"The cost of gas increased by 136 percent during the last year. Meanwhile, we could only increase the price of the products by 10 percent, that too across two phases," said Md Mamunur Rashid, senior vice-president of the Bangladesh Ceramic Manufacturers and Exporters Association (BCMEA).


At the same time, costs for raw material imports, which account for 40 percent of the expenses for ceramic manufacturers, also shot up as dollars got costlier.

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