Prices of fridges, ACs, washing machines to go up from Nov

Buyers will have to pay more for white goods such as refrigerators, air-conditioners and washing machines from November as manufacturers have decided to pass on the burden of higher input costs.

Prices of electronic consumer durables like refrigerators and washing machines are expected to go up by 3-5 per cent in November, The Economic Times reported.

However, consumers will mostly feel the impact only from December, as retailers have unsold inventory from Diwali, which they will first clear before sourcing fresh stock at higher prices, three senior industry executives told ET.

Input cost has gone up by 30-50 per cent since the last price hike in January.

The price of steel has since increased by 40 per cent and of copper by 50 per cent. A crucial chemical called MDI, which is used to make foams mostly for refrigerators, is seeing a global shortage and its price has doubled, the report said.

"These three account for almost 70 per cent of input cost and hence there is a net impact of 5-6 per cent on prices. However, we will absorb some and pass on the rest, that too probably in phases, since market sentiment is not very buoyant," Godrej Appliances business head Kamal Nandi told ET.

Nandi said that his company will raise prices of refrigerators first, then washing machines, while AC prices will be the last to get revised.

White goods market leader LG Electronics India and rival Samsung, too, have worked out price hikes on these categories in line with the rest of the industry, said the chief of a leading retail chain. While Samsung denied any plans for a price hike, an email ET sent to LG remained unanswered.

Prices of four- and five-star ACs are likely to go up further as a new energy efficiency rating, the Indian Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (ISEER ratings), becomes mandatory from January when inverter and lower-priced fixed-speed AC models will be rated on similar guidelines.