By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
May was hardly a merry month for the major appliance industry, where the carnage continued with double digit declines in unit shipments.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), factory shipments fell 13.4 percent that month to 6.5 million units, compared with nearly 7.6 million shipped during the prior-year period, as all but two product categories showed declines.
Year-to-date wholesale shipments were off 11.4 percent, the trade group reported, down nearly 10 million units to 30.1 million pieces.
Leading the downturn was home comfort, where a glut of room air conditioners and dehumidifiers, carried over from the unseasonably cool summer of 2007, dragged the category down 30 percent. Room air was down 21.8 percent to 1.7 million units shipped, while dehumidifier shipments plunged 65.5 percent to about 171,000 units.
Also taking it on the chin was kitchen cleanup, where dishwasher and disposer shipments each fell 11 percent, and the compactor category dropped 35 percent.
Fortunately for dealers and manufacturers, the core cooking, laundry and refrigeration categories fared better, registering only low single-digit declines.
Shipments were down 4.3 percent in home laundry, reflecting a 4.1 percent drop in washer shipments (to about 687,000 units) and a decline of 4.5 percent in dryers.
Within the latter, electric dryers were off 3.2 percent to approximately 478,000 units, and shipments of gas dryers fell 9.5 percent to about 112,000 units.
Food preservation was off 2.2 percent in total, reflecting a 3.8 percent decline in refrigerator shipments (to about 822,000 units) and an 8.2 percent gain in wholesale freezer sales, with chest-style units up 6.1 percent and shipments of upright freezers rising 11.6 percent.
The only other category to enter positive territory was microwave ovens, whose 8.6 percent gain offset a 13 percent decline in electric ranges, ovens and cooktops, and a 16.5 percent decline in their gas-fueled counterparts.
Shipments for the AHAM 6, a composite category comprised of washers, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, ranges and ovens, fell 6.5 percent to 3.3 million units in May, and was down 8.6 percent year to date.Industry Shipments Of Major Appliances*
|Product||May 2008||May 2007||% Chg.||2008 5 mos.||2007 5 mos.||% Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||6,540.7||7,553.6||-13.4||30,127.3||33,999.2||-11.4|
|Electric Cooking - Total||401.5||461.1||-12.9||2,045.8||2,315.9||-11.7|
|Surface Cooking Units||34.4||37.6||-8.4||184.7||207.0||-10.8|
|Gas Cooking - Total||210.8||252.4||-16.5||1,128.3||1,305.1||-13.5|
|Surface Cooking Units||29.9||38.3||-21.9||164.8||199.0||-17.2|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,277.3||1,334.4||-4.3||6,362.0||6,773.8||-6.1|
|Dryers - Total||590.1||617.7||-4.5||2,926.2||3,160.1||-7.4|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||916.6||1,027.2||-10.8||4,766.8||5,387.4||-11.5|
|Dishwashers - Total||490.0||549.1||-10.8||2,480.4||2,801.2||-11.5|
|Food Preservation - Total||962.8||984.2||-2.2||4,204.2||4,568.1||-8.0|
|Freezers - Total||140.4||129.7||8.2||678.3||699.5||-3.0|
|Home Comfort - Total||1,857.9||2,652.5||-30.0||7,325.9||8,961.5||-18.3|
|Room Air Conditioners||1,686.9||2,157.0||-21.8||6,405.7||7,886.6||-18.8|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.|
**AHAM 6 includes: washer, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers, and freestanding and built-in ranges.
Source: AHAM © TWICE 2008
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