NewsManufacturers paying through their noses to absorb COVID supply chain price increases

St. Lucia News OnlineJuly 4, 202211114 min

With a second COVID Christmas approaching, and the Chamber of Commerce advising consumers to save more and spend less due to expected phenomenal price increases, some local manufacturers are paying by the nose to keep prices low or affordable for consumers over the upcoming holiday season.

That’s confirmed by the President of the Saint Lucia Manufacturers Association (SLMA), Marguerite Desir.

Desir, re-elected to the post at the SLMA’s recent 108th Annual General Meeting, has confirmed the revelation by Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Brian Louisy that local manufacturers are indeed absorbing most of the extra costs caused by the current Supply Chain crisis, which includes shipping costs that recently rose five-fold in six months.

Speaking after the Chamber’s recent 137th AGM, Louisy told reporters: “Our members are going to do all they can to absorb some of the increases that they can and also to mitigate the increases…”

He said they’d be “looking for different products and supplies from supply sources so the impact on prices in the local market will not be as drastic.”

Acknowledging that manufacturers were indeed absorbing most of the increases in the costs of imports, Desir confirmed that “The majority of manufacturers have not all passed on all these increases to consumers.”

She said manufacturers were continuing to pay “really-high price-increases for our raw materials and also for shipping, which could rise 30% and more.”

The SLMA president explained too that “Shipping costs at times rise to over 300%, so this obviously would affect the cost per unit of whatever we are producing.”

However, she explained that “While some manufacturers have passed-on small increases of up to 5% and 10% in some cases, a lot of our manufacturers have had to absorb some of those costs and see how we can do our production more efficiently to enable us to save costs.”
Desir has been SLMA President for some time and says she accepted the nomination for re-election because “manufacturing and the national economy face probably their toughest challenge since Independence.”

The president also welcomed the current government’s decision to include ‘Manufacturing’ as part of the title for the Ministry of Commerce, saying it “demonstrates a commitment to focus on local manufacturers.”

Desir is Senior Vice President HR and Head of Business at Harris Paints with responsibility for Saint Lucia, Dominica and Guyana.

St. Lucia News Online

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