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A. K. Sengupta
Executive Director
Jagannath International Management School
Kalkaji, New Delhi.

Right Price
• An important determinant of business success.
• Right price does not always mean low price.
• Right price depends upon factors like nature of the market, costs,
competition, buyers purchasing power, foreign exchange fluctuations etc.
Pricing Approaches
• Major pricing approaches are Cost – based pricing and Market – based
• Concept of Marginal – cost pricing vis-a-vs full cost pricing
Pricing Decisions for firms in Developing Countries
• Inability to influence prices.
• Lower production technology - base because of marginal supplier.
• Export as commodities (with marginal value addition)
• Fiercely competitive market – margin is low
• Essential to formulate appropriate pricing strategies with innovations –
preconditions for success. 2
Pricing Objectives
A firm’s pricing policy may be guided by any one or more of the following
(i) Market Penetration: Market penetration may be a very important objective,
particularly for new exporters. A firm may attempt to penetrate the market
with a low price.
(ii) Market Share: The price may be manipulated to increase the market share.
(iii) Market Skimming: This is often the case with innovative products. The
product is introduced with a high initial price to skim the cream of the market.
The price may be subsequently reduced to achieve greater market
(iv) Fighting Competition: Sometimes price is a tool to fight competition. A
price reduction by the competitor may have to be countered by price cuts.
Sometimes price cuts may be affected to discipline the competitor or to
compel the competitor to reduce prices so that his cash flows will be affected.
(v) Preventing New Entry: A firm may charge a low price even when there is
scope for high price so that the industry does not look very attractive to new
entrants. 3
(vi) Shorten Pay-back Period: When the market is uncertain and risky because of
factors like swift technological changes, short product life cycles, political
reasons, threat of potential competition etc., recouping the investment as early as
possible would be an important objective.
(vii) Early Cash Recovery: A firm with liquidity problem might give priority to
generate a better cash flow. Hence, it would adopt a pricing that might help it to
liquidate the stock and/or encourage prompt payment by the channel members or
(viii) Meeting Export Obligation: A company with specific export obligation may be
compelled to adopt a pricing policy that enables it to discharge its export
obligation. Sometimes it may even imply a price lower than the cost.
(ix) Disposal of Surplus: A company confronted with a surplus stock may resort to
exporting to dispose of the surplus.
(x) Optimum Capacity Utilisation: Exporting is sometimes resorted to enable the
firm to achieve optimum capacity utilisaton so as to minimize the unit cost of
production. In such a case, achieving the required quantity of exports could be
the objective of export pricing.
(xi) Return on Investment: Achieving the target rate of return is the most important
pricing objective in a number of cases.
(xii) Profit Maximisation: In many cases, the primary pricing objective is
maximization of profits. 4
Types of Cost in Export Marketing
Fixed Cost
• Production cost
Variable Cost
• Selling and delivery costs.
Production Costs
Fixed Cost
Fixed costs are costs which remain fixed upto a certain level of output (investment
in land, building, rent, plant & machinery)
Even if there is no production, some people are paid salary, minimum fixed
expenses like electricity cost etc.
Variable Costs
Variable costs are costs which vary with the variation in the level of output and
include cost of factors like labour, material etc.
Selling and Delivery Costs
• Include the cost of holding stocks, packaging, transport, documentation,
preshipment inspection, insurance and cost of advertising, personal selling
• Salesman’s salary – fixed cost
• Commission and traveling & incidental expenses are variable costs.
Marginal cost Pricing
• Pricing on Marginal cost – direct costs are covered i.e. the variable costs.
Points in support of use of Marginal cost
• Export sales are additional sales – need not be burdened with overhead
costs, recovered from domestic market.
• Products less known in foreign markets.
• Markets with low purchasing power.
• Competition is severe.
How to recover the fixed cost
• Domestic market
• Extra loading
• Existence of large domestic market
• Adoption of mass production technologies which will remove the gap
between full cost and the marginal cost
• Importers become used to low price
• Not applicable to industries mainly dependent on export market.
• Where overheads are insignificant.
Marginal cost sets the lower limit
• The idea is not that direct cost should be charged every tune.
• Marginal cost provides the lower limit upto which a firm can reduce the
prices without in any way affecting its overall profitability. 7
• Developing countries might be charged of dumping.
• Competition among exporters from developing countries lead to undercutting
each other resulting in loss of foreign exchange.
• Very often low prices may be quoted in the absence of adequate information
about prevailing prices in foreign market.
Elements for Export Price Quotation
The following chart gives the various elements of costs.
(a) For export price based on marginal cost. (b) For export price based on full
• Export Price Based on Marginal Cost
(a) Direct costs
(b) Variable costs:
Direct material
Direct labour 8
Variable production overhead (for example, special dies and jigs)
Variable administration overheads (for example, salary of export clerk)
(c) Other costs directly related to exports:
• Selling cost – advertising support to importers abroad
• Special packaging, labeling etc.
• Commission to overseas agent
• Export credit insurance
• Bank charges
• Inland freight
• Forwarding charges
• Inland insurance
• Port charges
• Export duties if any
• Warehousing at port, if required
• Documentation and incidental
• Interest on funds involved/cost of deferred credit
• Cost of after-sales including free part supply
• Pre-shipment inspection and loss on rejects
• After-sales service 9
Total Direct Costs
Less: duty drawback
Direct Cost Net
=F.O.B. price at marginal cost
II. Freight (volume or weight whichever is higher)
III. Insurance
C.I.F. price (based on marginal cost)
1. Export Price Based on Full Cost
i) Direct cost as in (1)
ii) Fixed cost/ common cost
Production overheads
Administration overheads
Publicity and advertising (general)
F.O.B. price (based on full cost)
iii) Freight (volume or weight whichever is higher)
iv) Insurance 10
C.i.f. price based on full cost
Part of the above cost sheet gives the lower limit of the export pricing. As
would be clear from the cost sheet, all cost directly related to export are taken
into account for fixing the lower limit. If some incentives are allowed on the
export of the product concerned the lower limit would be further reduced by the
amount of incentives.
In the case of export houses purchasing their supplies from supporting
manufacturers, the cost price of supplies obtain would constitute the lower limit.
Market Oriented Export Pricing
The following chart gives the nature of analysis for market – oriented pricing

Analysis for market oriented export pricing
Market price _________
Less retail margin on selling price __________
Cost to the retailer _______
Less whole sellers mark up on his cost ________
Cost of the wholesaler ______
Less importers mark up on his cost ________
Cost of the importer _______
Less import duty ________
C.I.f. price _____
Less freight and insurance charges _______
F.O.B. realization of the exporter ___________

To-down Calculation for International Pricing
Consumer Price: 1,160 + 16%**
VAT* 160
Market price minus VAT: 1,000
Margin retailer: 250 = 25%**
Price to retailer: 750
Margin wholesaler: 90 + 12%**
Price to wholesaler: 660
Margin to importer 33 + 5%*
Landed-cost price: 627
Import duties: 110 + 20%**
Other costs (storage, banking): 17**
CIF (Port of destination): 500
Transportation costs: 130**
Insurance costs: 6**
FOB (port of shipment) 364
Transportation costs factory to port: 34**
Export price ex-works (EXW): 330
Factory cost price: 300**
Export profit (per unit): 30

*Note that VAT is calculated as a percentage of the price without VAT. Trade margins are usually calculated as a
percentage of the trade selling price. The trade margins for some sectors are calculated as a percentage of trade buying
**Figures based on assumptions. 13