Paints manufacturer Crown Paints will increase the price of its products by up to eight percent from April in the wake of a rise in the cost of shipping raw materials.
Chief executive Rakesh Rao said the cost of importing raw materials more than doubled to Sh567,800 ($5,000) per tonne from Sh227,140 ($2,000) before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“We are increasing the cost of our products due to the sharp rise in shipping and production costs although you cannot pass the entire increase in costs to consumers. In Kenya, this was supposed to be a rise of eight percent from January but we will do it in April,” Mr Rao told the Business Daily.
Prices for popular brands like Crown Permacote Ultraguard Extreme will rise by Sh1,550 to Sh20,925 for the 20-litres container while the cost of a similar pack for the Crown Ruff & Tuff brand will rise by up to Sh370 to Sh4,990.
Mr Rao added that the paints maker will also increase the price of its products in the Ugandan, Tanzania and Rwandese markets but at a lower rate of not more than seven percent.
The movement of goods from the source markets countries has since 2020 been disrupted by travel restrictions and bans on social gatherings imposed to curb the spread of coronavirus, scaling down activities at ports and airports.
The weakening of the shilling against the dollar since last year has also led to the spike in the cost of importing goods for Crown Paints that sources over 95 percent of raw materials from abroad.
The new prices look set to protect margins for the paints maker which is recovering from the sales drop caused by the Covid-19 economic fallout.