The price of a single matchbox is set to double from December because of the increase in the cost of the raw materials used. From December, the matchbox will be sold for ₹2. After 14 years, the All India Chamber of Matches in Sivakasi decided to change the matchbox price from ₹1 to ₹2 because of rising costs and inflation.
The last time matchbox price was increased was in 2007 from 50 paise to Re 1. Before that, the cost of the matchbox was increased from 25p to 50p in 1995.
According to the matchbox manufacturers, there has been a rise in the price of 14 items that are used for making matchboxes. For example, the cost of one kilogram of red phosphorus rose to ₹810 from ₹425, the cost of wax hiked to ₹58 from ₹80, the outer box board from ₹36 to ₹55, and the inner box board from ₹32 to ₹58.
Besides, the manufacturers said that the rising cost of paper, splints, potassium chlorate, and sulphur have also increased the price of the matchbox.
About five lakh people are dependent on the matchbox industry directly and indirectly and 90 per cent of the workforce is women, Tamil Nadu is a leading manufacturer of matchboxes and Kovilpatti, Sattur, Sivakasi, Thiurthangal, Ettayapuram, Kazhugumalai, Sankarankoil, Gudiyattam and Kaveripakkam are the major production centres. Approximately, there are 1,000 matchbox units which includes small and medium sized matchbox manufacturers as well.