Not quite a cracking season

15th April 2015

Courtesy: The Hindu

Not quite a cracking season

While the celebration of Vishu is synonymous with firecrackers, it has not been a cracking sale this season. Traders in Kochi are worried as the hike in prices has blown the air out of firecracker market.

“The sales are yet to pick up as the number of shoppers dropped compared to previous years. The summer rains and decline in arrival of stocks from Sivakasi owing to a lorry strike have also affected our prospects,” said a wholesale firecracker merchant in Kochi.

According to him, only 30-40 per cent of the stock available could be sold so far as prices have increased by almost 25 per cent over last year’s rate. The consequent dip in sales has forced retail traders to sell on marginal profits, he added.

Most retailers say the demand for noisy crackers has gone down drastically this year, while that of light-emanating ones has increased. Apart from the new introductions to the market that hit the market this time, on offer are also the good old favourites like sparklers, flower pots, sky and bottle rockets, ground wheels etc, apart from a couple of fancy additions.

Of the total stocks in the local market, about 75 per cent is from Sivakasi while the remaining stock comes from the domestic production units.

Meanwhile, the Controller of explosives has intensified raids across the various fire-cracker production and sale units to check the smuggling of banned fire crackers from China. “We are yet to trace any Chinese products in the markets but have issued show-cause notices to a couple of merchants for stocking excess quantity beyond the permitted level,” said T.O. Sasi, Deputy Chief Controller of Explosive.

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