By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
A sharp decline in factory sales of cooking products and a collapse of the home comfort category led to a flat month for majap shipments in November.
That's the word according to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), the industry trade group based here, which collects and provides monthly domestic wholesale figures from and to member white-goods makers.
Total industry wholesale sales edged up 1 percent for the period to about 5.6 million units, AHAM said, while unit volume year-do-date stalled at 0.3 percent.
One of the culprits, cooking, slid 9.9 percent in November on weakness in built-in gas ranges and microwave ovens. The former fell 16.3 percent to some 5,700 units and was down 5.7 percent year-to-date. November shipments of microwave ovens dropped 16.1 percent to 1.2 million units, and 2005 wholesale sales were down 10.3 percent through the month.
Other cooking sub-sectors were only marginally stronger, with freestanding gas ranges down 4.2 percent, electric cooktops down 1.5 percent, and freestanding and built-in gas ranges up 2.7 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.
Only gas cooktops enjoyed a lift in November, as factory shipments climbed 11.7 percent to nearly 48,000 units. The sub-sector is up 6.1 percent year-to-date.
But business was disastrous for the home comfort category, as dealers returned some 63,500 room air conditioners and dehumidifier shipments fell 24.6 percent.
Also showing weakness in November was home laundry, wholesale sales of which edged up .3 percent to 1.3 million units despite a solid 5.1 percent year-to-date showing. Sales were meager across the board, with gas dryers down 1.4 percent, electric dryers down .3 percent and washers up a slim 1.1 percent in November. Some 692,100 washers were sold that month, while year-to-date shipments were up 6.9 percent to 7.9 million units.
November proved to be a better month for kitchen cleanup. Overall sales were up 4.5 percent on strength in built-in dishwashers (ahead 6.3 percent) and disposers (up 2.7 percent).
Leading the pack was food preservation, whose shipments soared 14 percent to over 1 million units. Here, refrigeration led the way with shipments of 895,000 units, representing a 16.6 percent spike year-over-year. The gains were a welcome change for a category whose year-to-date shipments were up less than 2 percent.
Finally, the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and multiple range categories, grew 4.9 percent in November to 3.8 million units shipped.Industry Shipments of Major Appliances*
|Product||2005 NOV.||2004 NOV.||Chg.||2005 11 mos.||2004 11 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||5,574.6||5,522.0||1.0%||72,091.8||71,848.0||0.3%|
|Electric Ranges - Total||542.2||527.7||2.7||5,538.2||5,478.9||1.1|
|Surface Cooking Units||44.2||44.9||-1.5||483.5||511.4||-5.5|
|Gas Ranges - Total||321.0||328.9||-2.4||3,349.9||3,309.7||1.2|
|Surface Cooking Units||47.9||42.9||11.7||502.8||473.9||6.1|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,295.5||1,291.3||0.3||15,713.0||14,952.7||5.1|
|Dryers - total||603.4||606.8||-0.6||7,279.4||7,063.7||3.1|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,114.3||1,065.8||4.5||13,195.0||12,471.8||5.8|
|Dishwashers - Total||598.9||563.4||6.3||6,694.3||6,365.9||5.2|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,090.8||957.9||13.9||12,098.2||12,186.2||-0.7|
|Freezers - Total||195.8||190.4||2.8||1,997.8||2,273.1||-12.1|
|Home Comfort - Total||-23.3||-120.0||NaN||9,600.5||9,410.1||2.0|
|Room Air Conditioners||-63.5||-173.4||NaN||7,664.0||7,777.6||-1.5|
|*Domestic shipments only. Includes U.S. produced and imported products.|
** AHAM 6 includes: Washer, Dryers, Dishwashers, Refrigerator, Freezers, and Freestanding and Built-In Ranges.
Source: AHAM ©TWICE 2006
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