Durables to feel the heat of higher steel prices

New Delhi | Updated on November 10, 2017 Published on January 06, 2011

BL06_05_CONSUMER   -  The Hindu

Rising steel prices are likely to have an impact on the durables industry, with the sector mulling a round of price hikes. Prices of refrigerators, washing machines and air conditioners could move up 2-10 per cent in the near-term.

While a slew of companies in the durables business such as Samsung and Godrej has raised prices 1-4 per cent, many like Whirlpool, Haier and Panasonic are contemplating a hike too. Industry watchers observe that air conditioners, washing machines and refrigerators could be costlier by 5-10 per cent. They note that the price hike is also due to rise in prices of other components such as copper and polymer.

Earlier this week, the largest steel maker, the Steel Authority of India Ltd, increased the prices of its products by three per cent or Rs 1,000 a tonne. Private players such as Tata Steel and JSW have also hiked prices following higher input costs.

According to Mr Ravinder Zutshi, Deputy Managing Director, Samsung India, “We have undertaken a one-five per cent price hike with immediate effect. Prices of direct cool refrigerator could move up anywhere between Rs 100 and Rs 1,000 while prices of semi-automatic washing machines have been increased by Rs 200. The biggest impact has been on air-conditioners which will see a hike of nearly 10 per cent.”

The Haier India President and CEO, Mr Eric Braganza, also said the company would shortly announce a 3-5 per cent price hike on products like washing machines and air conditioners, among others.

Air conditioners are likely to have the maximum mark-up as use of steel is highest. Steel accounts for nearly 25-30 per cent of its input materials. “Prices of steel and copper are at an all-time high. Costs have gone up tremendously in the last one year,” said Mr Krishna Sachdev of Carrier Airconditioning. However, he declined to comment on the company's pricing strategies.


Industry watchers note that the hike will have an impact on the margins of the companies. Mr Manish Sharma, Director, Marketing, Panasonic India, said, “We try to absorb the maximum increase of commodity price hikes. Currently, we are not intending to pass it on to the consumers. However, if commodity prices continue to move up further, we will have to undertake a price correction.”

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Published on January 06, 2011
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