By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Strong demand for washers and disposers helped spur factory shipments of major appliances in September.
According to the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM), which tracks and tallies vendor shipments monthly, wholesale sales of white goods rose 2.8 percent to 7.5 million units for the four weeks between Aug. 28 and Oct. 1 vs. the comparable year-ago period.
The biggest gainer last month was kitchen cleanup, shipments of which rose 14.3 percent to 1.5 million units on the strength of disposer sales. Over 760,000 disposers were shipped in September, representing a 21.5 percent spike in wholesale sales year over year. Also putting in a strong performance was built-in dishwashers, whose 9-percent increase contrasted with a 13.5 percent decline in shipments of portable models.
Also taking it on the chin in kitchen cleanup was compactors, sales of which fell 12.6 percent to some 11,700 units.
The second biggest gainer last month was laundry, shipments of which rose 9.5 percent to nearly 1.9 million units. Leading the pack were washers, which enjoyed a 13.7 percent gain year-over-year, while electric dryers saw sales rise 5.6 percent.
And while room AC sales soared 309 percent to 146,900 units, owing to the category's meager performance last year, the gains were offset by a 57.5 percent drop in dehumidifier sales. Nonetheless, the overall home comfort category still managed to show a comfortable 5 percent gain in September shipments.
Sales were more static for food preservation, edging up only 1 percent to 1.5 million units. Refrigerators led the way with a 3.2 percent gain, offset by an 8.8 percent decline in freestanding freezer shipments.
The situation was more precarious for the cooking category, where a 13 percent drop in microwave oven shipments proved a drag on range sales. Electric ranges were up 2.4 percent, led by freestanding configurations, while gas-fueled ranges rose 1.4 percent on the strength of surface cooking units. All told, the cooking category fell 7 percent in September.
Still, all was not doom and gloom. Shipments for the AHAM 6, an amalgam of the core washer, dryer, dishwasher, refrigerator, freezer and range categories, grew 5 percent in September to 221,200 units, although the classification is up only 1.4 percent for the year.
Indeed, total year-to-date appliance shipments are flat at 0.3 percent, led by kitchen cleanup (up 5.9 percent) and home laundry (up 3.9 percent).Industry Shipments Of Major Appliances*
|Product||2005 Sept.||2004 Sept.||Chg.||2005 9 mos.||2004 9 mos.||Chg.|
|All Major Appliances||7,458.6||7,254.9||2.8%||60,843.5||60,681.2||0.3%|
|Electric Ranges - Total||627.3||612.8||2.4||4,472.2||4,451.5||0.5|
|Surface Cooking Units||53.2||53.1||0.2||393.7||420.8||-6.4|
|Gas Ranges - Total||381.2||375.8||1.4||2,707.7||2,657.1||1.9|
|Surface Cooking Units||56.0||50.3||11.4||407.3||387.3||5.2|
|Home Laundry - Total||1,871.7||1,709.4||9.5||13,077.7||12,581.2||3.9|
|Dryers - Total||855.8||816.3||4.8||6,042.5||5,949.9||1.6|
|Kitchen Clean Up - Total||1,548.7||1,354.7||14.3||10,894.7||10,284.6||5.9|
|Dishwashers - Total||775.4||714.3||8.6||5,498.4||5,261.1||4.5|
|Food Preservation - Total||1,491.1||1,476.2||1.0||9,885.8||10,209.5||-3.2|
|Freezers - Total||248.0||272.0||-8.8||1,609.4||1,869.0||-13.9|
|Home Comfort - Total||221.2||210.7||5.0||9,577.4||9,545.4||0.3|
|Room Air Conditioners||146.9||35.9||309.3||7,754.3||8,049.1||-3.7|
|*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 2005
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