KATHMANDU, June 18: If you are constructing a new house or renovating bathroom, you will have to revise your budget. Bathroom wares have become dearer by 5 to 20 percent, which, according to traders, is largely due to depreciation of Nepali currency vis-à-vis US dollar, increment in prices of raw materials itself and hike in transportation costs.
“Weakening of Nepali rupee has directly raised the prices of sanitary wares imported from third countries by 10 to 20 percent in recent days,” said Kalpana Shrestha, sales and marketing manager of Bajra & Bajracharya Enterprises that deals with brands like Kohler of USA and Porcelanosa of Spain.
Likewise, prices of bathroom wares imported from India too have increased in a range of 5 to 10 percent due to rise in prices by manufacturers as well as hike in the transportation costs, said Hari Gopal Shrestha, proprietor of Garima Hardware Centre, Maitidevi.
As there exists no local manufacturer of sanitary wares, Nepal fulfills demand for these crucial products through imports. The latest change in prices will raise house construction cost by around 0.4 percent as sanitary wares hold 2 percent weightage in total construction cost.
Despite rise in prices, traders said their sales have continued to grow. “Though the demand is not as huge as it used to be two years ago, sales of sanitary wares have been growing due to booming urbanization and people´s preference for modern sanitary wares,” said Hari Gopal.
Kohler, Porcelanosa, Hindware, Somany, Jaquar and Sharp, which are directly imported from India, are some of the leading sanitary ware brands in Nepal. Similarly, German brand Grove is popular among commercial constructions like big hotels.
With the upward revision in prices, customers buying a set of commode of Sharp, a widely used Indian brand, will now need to pay in a range of Rs 4,500 to Rs 15,000 depending on their quality, outlook and size. Sharp commode set were priced in range of Rs 3,600 to Rs 13,500 until recently.
Similarly, Deimos designer commode by Somany, which was earlier available for Rs 29,990, will now cost Rs 31,490. Price of Viva, another designer commode by Somany, has increased to Rs 47,490.
The price of price of coupled closets, traditional commodes in which commode and flush come in a single piece, - are now priced Rs 23,870, up from previous price of Rs 2,670. Price of urinal in pastel color by Dyna has increased by Rs 820 to Rs 16,410.
Sushma Khadka, sales executive of Rajesh Sanitary Ware at Tripureshwar, which deals in Somany and Hindware, said the price of ceramic sanitary ware, water closets, wash basins, bathroom accessories, urinal, wash basin with pedestal, bathing enclosure from Jaquar has increased in range of 5 to 10 percent.
For instance, price of bathing set of Jaquar plain enclosure is now priced in range of Rs 35,000 to Rs 50,000, up by Rs 1,800 to Rs 2,500, and system enclosure costs Rs 165,000 to Rs 250,000, up by Rs 8,500 to Rs 13,500.
“System enclosure is equipped with sophisticated machinery and employs the latest technology. It is expensive and mostly purchased by star hotels,” she added.