Mariwasa Siam Ceramics plans to acquire new kiln to boost tile production

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A SUBSIDIARY of SCG Philippines is looking at allocating P100 million to acquire a new kiln to improve its ceramic tile production.

Jakkrit Suwansilp, president of Mariwasa Siam Ceramics, Inc. (MSC), said the new kiln will boost efficiency and allow the company to produce bigger tiles.

In a press briefing held earlier this week in Makati City, SCG Philippines Country Director Anuvat Chalermchai said the company may spend P100 million for MSC’s expansion.

MSC is planning to produce larger tiles sized 60×60 centimeters which can be used for both commercial and residential establishments.

“We will take over the small size, the 30×30 and 40×40. But we will produce the item that fits to the market and fits to the demand for the customer need,” Mr. Suwansilp added.

Mr. Chalermchai said the company will use internally generated funds and bank loans to finance MSC’s new kiln this year.

Meanwhile, SCG is seeking the inclusion of ceramic tiles in the Bureau of Product Standards’ (BPS) list of products that are required to secure an import commodity clearance (ICC) before entry.

An ICC mark, which can be obtained after quality assurance tests conducted by the BPS, helps distinguish government-approved electrical and construction material products from substandard and counterfeit ones.

To note, the Department of Trade and Industry, at the request of MSC, which accounts for 86% of the Philippines’ total domestic ceramic output, launched in December 2018 an investigation to determine whether a surge in imports registered in 2013 through 2017 would hurt domestic injury.

The DTI said the volume of imports of ceramic floor and wall tiles surged to over one million tons in 2016 from 6,000 tons in 2013. In 2017, imports declined 12% from 2016, but this was 2,192% higher than in 2014

This led to a decline in domestic manufacturers’ market share to 14% in 2017 from 96% in 2013.

Mr. Chalermchai noted that imports, mostly sourced from China, Indonesia and Vietnam, were around 40% cheaper than domestic ceramic floor and wall tiles.

In 2018, SCG Philippines sales stood at P18.54 billion, 26% higher from its 2017 sales with the cement-buildings unit as the key driver.

The SCG Group has three core business units: cement-building materials, chemicals and packaging. — Janina C. Lim