By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
WASHINGTON – Wholesale unit volume of major appliances was essentially flat in October, edging down 0.8 percent year over year to 4.3 million pieces shipped.
According to vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the month’s top gainers included disposers, electric ovens and upright freezers, while the steepest drops were seen in dehumidifiers and portable dishwashers.
Disposer shipments surged 16.5 percent, which helped offset a 37.2 percent drop in portable dishwasher volume to give the overall kitchen cleanup category a 10.6 percent lift in October. Also contributing to the gain were built-in dishwashers, shipments of which increased 5 percent year over year.
Similarly, a 13.6 percent surge in shipments of electric ovens, along with a 7.8 percent spike in electric cooktops and a 3.5 percent gain in gas cooktops, helped offset otherwise sluggish performance within the greater cooking category. Total cooking shipments declined 0.6 percent to some 355,600 units in October, on weakness in gas ovens (down 6.4 percent), electric ranges (down nearly 4 percent) and flat volume in microwave ovens.
In refrigeration, upright freezers carried the month, up 11.3 percent in unit volume, while their chest-style counterparts fell 10.6 percent and full-size refrigerators were flat, edging down 0.4 percent, leaving the overall food preservation category with a 1.1 percent decline for the month.
The greatest decline was seen in the home comfort category, which fell nearly 80 percent on a 68.2 percent decline in dehumidifier shipments.
Providing a snapshot of the month is the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer, range and oven categories, which slipped 1.4 percent in October, and is down 2.4 percent year to date through Oct. 27.
Total year-to-date majap shipments are essentially flat, falling just 0.6 percent to 51.3 million units.
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