Britain’s export-oriented engineering companies are becoming increasingly concerned about the threat of price transparency following the introduction of the single European currency next year.
‘A lot (of UK exporters) are feeling uncomfortable,’ said West Midlands engineering business consultant Alf North.
‘Differential pricing has been widespread. It was what exporters felt the market would stand. The single currency will help expose it.’
North said the greatest fears were in the automotive components sector.
A single European currency will make it harder for exporters to justify price differences for the same products across the Continent.
Differential pricing, which has been masked by currency variations, was often explained to customers as taking account of local administrative costs and charges, North said.
The euro would increase price competition, particularly where UK exporters struggling with the strong pound relied on premiums for their margins.