By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Factory shipments of major appliances fell 3.4 percent in July on sharp declines in cooking products, microwave ovens, freezers and dehumidifiers.
The downturn offset solid gains in the key home laundry category, while other core sectors remained flat.
Despite the summer doldrums, wholesale majap sales remain robust for the year, with year-to-date shipments up 4.9 percent through July 29, according to the latest vendor data compiled by the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the industry trade group based here.
Specifically, dehumidifiers led last month's decline, free-falling 42.6 percent year-over-year to approximately 108,400 units.
The next hardest-hit category was microwave ovens, which fell 14.8 percent to 1.1 million units shipped last month. The decline sent the overall cooking category down by 11 percent in unit shipments year-over-year, although wholesale sales were off across the board, with gas ranges down by 6.7 percent and electric ranges down by 1.7 percent overall. Only the built-in electric range sub-category saw any momentum, with shipments ratcheting up 5.4 percent to some 65,900 units.
Tying for second place was freezers, where shipments of upright configurations declined 16 percent and chest-style units fell 13.9 percent. Total category shipments slipped to 161,000 units last month.
Also taking it on the chin was the dishwasher category, off by 2.4 percent year-over-year despite a 13.1 percent surge in portable dishwashers.
The snapshot AHAM 6 category, comprised of the core laundry, dishwasher, refrigeration and range product areas, rose 2.6 percent for the month to just under 3.4 million units.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
|Product||2004 JULY||2003 JULY||Chg.||2004 7 mos.||2003 7 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||5,728.3||5,927.5||(3.4)%||49,725.8||47,388.6||4.9%|
|Electric Ranges - Total||408.4||415.4||(1.7)%||3,513.1||3,365.5||4.4|
|Surface Cooking Units||35.2||36.4||(3.3)%||310.6||300.6||3.3|
|Gas Ranges - Total||229.8||246.4||(6.7)%||1,991.6||2,032.0||(2.0)|
|Surface Cooking Units||38.5||38.7||(.4)%||321.2||306.2||4.9|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,195.1||1,055.7||13.2%||9,949.0||9,628.9||3.3%|
|Dryers - total||525.6||487.4||7.8%||4,532.0||4,514.8||.4|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,063.6||1,071.1||(.7)%||8,181.2||8,180.7||.0%|
|Dishwashers - Total||505.1||517.7||(2.4)%||4,151.3||4,130.6||.5|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,097.0||1,115.9||(1.7)%||7,534.1||7,171.1||5.1%|
|Freezers - Total||161.0||189.0||(14.8)%||1,152.1||1,157.5||(.5)|
|Home Comfort - Total||628.7||725.9||(13.4)%||10,739.0||9,144.5||17.4%|
|Room Air Conditioners||520.2||537.1||(3.1)%||9,712.0||7,492.5||29.6|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.|
** AHAM 6 includes: Washer, Dryers, Dishwashers, Refrigerator, Freezers, and Free-Standing and Built-In Ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2006
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