India is the world’s largest producer of laminate, a high-quality product made from recycled wood pulp.
The industry has been booming in recent years as governments have sought to revive a manufacturing sector that has suffered from a decline in demand.
But laminate-flooring makers are facing a growing number of challenges as the market becomes more competitive, said Anu Srivastava, president of India’s Association of Professional Manufacturers.
The new year brought a new wave of laminated flooring, and the demand for the product has soared, Srivasta said.
This was reflected in a recent report by the International Council of Flooring Manufacturers (ICFLM) that said Indian flooring producers have an annual revenue of $3.2 billion, and that there is a strong demand for laminate in the domestic market.
The industry has seen a boom in the last decade, with the country adding more than 300,000 new floors to the market last year.
The boom in laminate production has been fueled by an increase in the supply of materials and the rapid expansion of the domestic supply chain.
The demand for these flooring products has been met with a rise in the price of the product, which has been pegged at over Rs 1,500 a metre (about $300).
However, a major factor is the availability of imported material, particularly from China, the report said.
In recent years, demand for materials from China has been high due to a slowdown in the country’s economic growth and the impact of the global financial crisis.
The ICFLM report said India was a net importer of materials from the world market, with about a third of the country buying products from China.
In 2017, India imported about 2,000 tonnes of raw materials, mainly from China and Vietnam, according to the report.
Srivasta attributed this trend to a combination of factors, including a shortage of material in the Indian market, as well as a rising demand for flooring by domestic companies.
She said the industry will need to be careful about pricing the product for domestic customers.
Sri Lanka, one of the countries where the industry is the most important for the local economy, has been one of India and the world leaders in laminated floors.
It has become a key supplier of flooring material for India and Vietnam and has become one of a few countries that has been able to produce a wide range of products.
While the market for floor materials from Sri Lanka is still relatively small, it has become attractive to international investors, as it has a strong domestic manufacturing sector.
Srikanth Narang, president and managing director of Kalyani Laminate, the company that makes the flooring from Sri Lankan trees, said he was optimistic that there will be a large demand for their products in the coming years.
The company is still growing but is aiming to become a major player in the global market.