HIGHER PRICE TAG
New Delhi, July 7: Consumer durables companies are raising prices of products by as much as 5 per cent on account of high raw material prices and the depreciation of the rupee.
While the demand is not rising significantly, most companies claim they are unable to absorb the lower margins because of higher commodity prices.
“We have been hit by the rupee depreciation and sky rocketing raw material prices. We are forced to increase the product prices from the first week of July,” said a Panasonic India spokesperson.
Panasonic’s home appliances will see a 4 per cent price increase, while televisions (LCD, LED, Plasma and 3D) will be dearer by around 3 per cent. Panasonic had increased prices by 4 per cent in January.
Haier India also plans to go for another round of price hikes. “The weakening of the rupee has aggravated the situation. We are planning to increase the prices of refrigerators, washing machines and LCD television by 3-5 per cent,” said its spokesperson.
Prices of Haier refrigerators has been twice raised by 3 per cent this year. Its washing machines are now 7.5 per cent more expensive, while the air conditioners are 17.5 per cent dearer.
Firms such as Sony and Whirlpool are considering various options to tackle the adverse currency fluctuation that is making the import of components expensive.
The rupee has been on a downward spiral over the past few months against the dollar and touched a record low of 56.52 against last month.
On its strategy to counter the impact of a depreciating rupee, Sony India managing director Masaru Tamagawa said, “Sony India has hedged the currency by booking the exchange rate amount till June and, therefore, has no plans to increase the price of its products till then. However, from July, Sony will observe the exchange rate closely and will determine the price accordingly.”
Whirlpool said multiple actions were being taken in sourcing, cost management and pricing to lessen the impact of the rupee fall.