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NEW DELHI :

India’s top fast moving consumer goods makers Hindustan Unilever Ltd., (HUL) and ITC LTd., have taken price hikes on select variants of soaps and detergents citing higher input costs.  

HUL has increased the price of Wheel detergent powder by 3.4% on its 1 kg pack, CNBC TV 18 reported on November 25.  This would result in a hike of 2, the news channel reported citing sources. A price hike has been initiated on a 500-gram pack of Wheel. It has also increased prices on packs of Rin detergent bar and Lux soaps.

ITC has raised price of Fiama Di Wills and Vivel soaps between 10-15%.

"Input costs have gone up significantly and the overall industry has increased prices. While prices of select items have been revised, ITC's focus is on effective cost management, premiumisation, favourable business mix and evaluating all avenues to mitigate costs and enhance efficiency, to ensure that we don’t have to pass on the entire burden to the consumer.," the company spokesperson said in response to a query from Mint. 

Increasing the price of the product is the last resort because we don’t want to impact the consumer as much as possible, the spokesperson added. 

HUL did not reply to an email query sent by Mint. 

FMCG companies have been facing severe inflationary pressures for a while now—this is on account of higher fuel prices, increased palm oil prices as well as elevated costs of freight, apart from other pricey commodities. Recently Parle Products said it would take another round of price hikes to mitigate higher input costs. 

In its June quarter earnings call—HUL’s top management said that it executed another round of price increase in skin cleansing, laundry, and tea portfolio. The company’s management said that pricing was required to “protect the business model".

Then in its September quarter earnings call, the company cautioned that input costs continue to remain high. Price increases were taken in a “calibrated" manner, the comapny's top management said then.

 “Palm oil and its derivatives, which are used in our skin cleansing and hair care categories, have seen prices climbing further. Please be mindful that these were already at historical high. With the palm season in full swing and having visibility of stock levels, our expectation is for the global prices to remain supportive in near term," Ritesh Tiwari, the company’s chief financial officer told analysts in a post earnings call.

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