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789-tonne rise in KMML titanium exports

Our Bureau

Kochi , Aug. 4

KERALA Minerals and Metals Ltd (KMML) has increased its export of titanium dioxide pigment rutile grade by 789 tonnes during April - June, 2004 to 1,789 tonnes from 1,000 tonnes in the same period last fiscal.

With this, the Kollam-based State public sector company's turnover during the first quarter of 2004 has gone up to Rs 70 crore from Rs 66 crore in the corresponding period last year, Mr K.P. Rajendran, Managing Director, told Business Line.

He said that there had been a marginal decline in domestic sales because of the fall in international price and the reduction in import duty to 20 per cent and withdrawal of 4 per cent additional duty from January 2004 onwards. Given this advantage, the paint manufacturers had beefed up their inventory till March 31 last and this had resulted in a slow off take.

However, now the situation has changed as the international price has gone up and the importers have to pay 20 per cent import duty plus two per cent cess, which would make the landed cost higher or at par with the company's price.

He said that the KMML did not reduce the price to make it level with the imported price, being the only producer of the high quality titanium dioxide pigment rutile grade in the country. The international price at present is $1,750 to $1,800 a tonne.

The company's domestic sales stood at 4,900 tonnes in Q1 as against 5,200 tonnes in April - June 2003, he said. KMML has drawn up a plan to export 40 per cent of its production. The idea is to export its product during the lean season here lest its production and sales would be affected, he said.

It would be able to increase its production to around 35,000 tonnes during 2004-05 and in pursuit of achieving this target the production during April-July stood at 10,000 tonne.

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