: Accumulated stock of safety matches triggered slump in its market value. Match manufacturers were facing hardships of the market economy since production peaked beyond consumption demands.

As there is a mismatch between demand and supply, the manufacturers are bearing the brunt of market uncertainty, according to M. Paramasivam, President, National Small Manufacturers Association, Kovilpatti.

Unusually, the matches’ production continued even during lean period of October, November and December this year, owing to the truant monsoon. Normally, its production would witness a declining trend during this rainy season, for which the workforce would get themselves engaged in farm lands. But unfortunately, both the southwest and the northeast monsoons completely turned out be a failure. To keep the manpower intact and ensure them employment, production continued as usual.

The market value of a bundle of matches on average is Rs.360 but the accumulation of finished goods resulted in loss of Rs.20 for one bundle. The manufacturers had expected a favourable market value for matches after Diwali when rainfall occurs normally. With less volume of production, there would a considerable improvement in market demand. Unlike the previous year, export market, which recorded 15 -20 percent increase, is not much on expected lines this year, J. Devadoss, Secretary, South India Match Manufacturers Association, said.