By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
The housing squeeze and sub-prime mortgage crisis continued to take their toll on the major appliance industry in December, with factory shipments falling 10.6 percent to 6 million units, down from almost 6.8 million units from the year-ago period, according to the latest data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM).
For all of 2007, factory shipments declined 6.3 percent to 74.9 million majaps, down from nearly 80 million pieces in 2006.
Hardest hit last month was home laundry, with both washers and dryers down nearly 13 percent in shipments year-over-year. The pain was felt most sharply among gas-fueled dryers, which tumbled 18 percent to some 144,400 units shipped. For the full year, washer shipments fell 7.1 percent and dryer deliveries were off 5.3 percent.
Also feeling the effects of the housing crunch was food preservation, which slipped 11 percent on weakness in freezers, including chest-style (down nearly 20 percent) and upright models (down 13.3 percent). The core refrigeration category also fared poorly, with an almost 10 percent plunge in unit shipments, to just more than 1 million units. For the full year, refrigerators were down 6.1 percent and all freezer styles declined by 7.2 percent.
The third-steepest declines by category were seen in cooking, which saw a 10.5 percent decline in unit shipments for the month. Electric-fueled models, including freestanding, built-in, range and oven configurations were down 7 percent to about 575,000 units, while their gas-fueled counterparts experienced an 8.1 percent dip year-over-year. Shipments of electric surface cooking unit fell 5 percent, and gas versions dipped nearly 12 percent. Still, the hardest-hit cooking sector was microwave ovens, which saw shipments drop 13 percent to just more than 1 million units in December.
For the full year, cooking was down category-wide by 10 percent.
Following a close fourth in December was kitchen clean-up, down 10 percent, lead by a 10.9 percent decline in disposer shipments. The core built-in dishwasher category fell 9.1 percent to less than 636,000 units, and compactor shipments contracted nearly 9 percent. For the full year, kitchen clean-up was down by 5.5 percent.
The only bright spot in December was in home comfort, where a nearly 67 percent increase in shipments of dehumidifiers helped offset a 14.6 percent decline in room air conditioner deliveries, giving the category a 9.5 percent lift overall. Shipments for the full year were essentially flat at 0.3 percent.
AHAM's six core categories (including laundry, dishwashers, refrigeration, ranges and ovens) were down 10.7 percent in December and 5.6 percent for the year.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances
|Product||20072 DEC.||20062 DEC.||% Chg.||2007 YTD||2006 YTD||% Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||6,043.0||6,756.3||(10.6)||74,941.2||79,956.9||(6.3)|
|Electric Cooking - Total||574.9||618.0||(7.0)||5,990.7||6,227.9||(3.8)|
|Electric Ranges 1||441.5||0.0||-||4,612.4||0.0||-|
|Electric Ovens 1||84.8||0.0||-||866.6||0.0||-|
|Surface Cooking Units||48.7||51.2||(4.9)||511.7||543.9||(5.9)|
|Gas Cooking - Total||326.9||355.9||(8.1)||3,333.5||3,586.0||(7.0)|
|Gas Ranges 1||275.9||0.0||-||2,780.6||0.0||-|
|Gas Ovens 1||7.2||0.0||-||55.9||0.0||-|
|Surface Cooking Units||43.9||49.6||(11.5)||497.1||563.4||(11.8)|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,621.5||1,856.8||(12.7)||16,378.0||17,474.6||(6.3)|
|Dryers - Total||753.5||861.2||(12.5)||7,553.4||7,974.7||(5.3)|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,224.0||1,359.8||(10.0)||13,463.8||14,246.0||(5.5)|
|Dishwashers - Total||635.8||699.7||(9.1)||6,976.8||7,251.5||(3.8)|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,071.7||1,204.3||(11.0)||12,391.3||13,224.4||(6.3)|
|Freezers - Total||182.6||220.5||(17.2)||1,992.1||2,147.7||(7.2)|
|Home Comfort - Total||191.0||174.5||9.5||11,547.0||11,510.9||.3|
|Room Air Conditioners||104.9||122.8||(14.6)||9,543.4||10,055.3||(5.1)|
|AHAM 6 3||4,138.4||4,633.8||(10.7)||44,061.7||46,657.1||(5.6)|
|Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products. 1 Product categories within the cooking program have been reorganized and year-over-year comparisons are no longer possible. Total electric and total gas cooking comparisons are still valid. 2 For a period of four weeks between Nov. 25, 2007 - Dec. 31, 2007 vs. Nov. 26, 2006 - Dec. 31, 2006. Includes revisions posted through Jan. 5, 2008 3 AHAM 6 includes: washer, dryers, dishwashers, refrigerators, freezers and freestanding and built-in ranges.|
Source: AHAM © TWICE 2008
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