Investors looking for signs of inflationary pressure in the global economy need cast their gaze no further than the world’s biggest makers of home appliances, several of which are based in Guangdong. According to local media, prices of TVs, washing machines, and aircon units has been rising steadily since the second half of last year and now, ahead of the big mid-year online shopping festival known as 6.18 (June 18), they are likely to rise further.
Data from the Aowei Cloud Network shows that in December last year, color TV sets sold online fetched an average of 2,569 yuan, up 27% year-on-year; washing machines were up 10.2%; and air-conditioning units were 2,947 yuan, a year-on-year increase of 19.3%. In the offline market, TVs were 4,717 yuan, up 21.5% year-on-year; washing machines were up 8.2%; and the average price of air-conditioning units was 3,837 yuan, up 9%.
Since then, home appliance manufacturers have issued notices of price increases. On January 12, TCL Home Appliances, part of the group that was founded in Huizhou, said alll refrigerators, washing machines, and freezers would see prices raised by 5%-15%. A month later, Midea, based in Foshan, said refrigerators would rise 10%-15%. Zhuhai-based Gree, has similarly been raising its own prices across the range of its appliances.
Raw material prices appear to be the main reason. According to data from the National Bureau of Statistics, the price of electrolytic copper in non-ferrous metals has risen from 4,4097.2 yuan/ton to 5,8931.3 yuan/ton to over 7,2253.1 yuan/ton.
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