TV, Fridge Prices To Hike? Firms Face High Input Costs On Rising Inflation, Cut Items’ Weight

As the retail inflation in April has hit an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent on continued high food prices, rising input costs for companies are forcing them to go for price hikes of their products. Some firms are also resorting to other ways such as lightening the weight or using recycled cans to make up for higher raw material costs.

The manufacturers of home appliances and consumer electronics, including TV, washing machines and refrigerators, are likely to raise the prices of their products by 3-5 per cent from May-end or the first week of June as they pass on the impact of rising input costs to buyers, according to a report by news agency PTI.

The weakening of the rupee is also adversely affecting the industry. According to the Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association (CEAMA), the fall of the Indian currency against the dollar is creating more problems for the industry, as per the report. “From June onwards, we will see a price increase of 3-5 per cent,” CEAMA President Eric Braganza told PTI.

The rupee on Thursday fell to an all-time low of 77.63 to a dollar. However, it has today (Friday) recovered and is currently trading at 77.36 vis-a-vis the American currency.

Recently, FMCG major Hindustan Unilever Ltd (HUL) raised prices of its items by up to 15 per cent across segments. The price of Sunsilk shampoo was increased by Rs 8-10 across variants, while 100-ml Clinic Plus shampoo has got costlier by 15 per cent. The price of Pears 125 gm soap has been hiked by 2.4 per cent and multipack by 3.7 per cent.

The country’s retail inflation in April accelerated to an eight-year high of 7.79 per cent, on continued high food prices. Inflation in the food basket rose to 8.38 per cent in April, from 7.68 per cent in the preceding month and 1.96 per cent in the year-ago month.

The CPI-based inflation in March this year stood at 6.95 per cent, and was at 4.23 per cent in April last year. Inflation in the food basket rose to 8.38 per cent in April from 7.68 per cent in the preceding month and 1.96 per cent in the year-ago month.

Meanwhile, companies are also reducing the weight of their products without changing their prices, in order to meet rising input costs. Unilever Plc’s India unit and domestic consumer goods firms Britannia Industries Ltd and Dabur India Ltd have moved toward lighter loads in their cheapest packages amid rising costs of edible oils, grains and fuel, according to a BS report.

“For example, a Rs 10 (13 cent) bar of the company’s popular Vim soap weighs 135 grams (4.8 ounces), compared with 155 grams about three months ago, a Delhi-based distributor said. At the same price point, a pack of aloo bhujia — a popular crunchy and salty snack — made by Haldiram’s fell to 42 grams from 55 grams, according to retailers. Hindustan Unilever and Haldiram’s didn’t respond to emails seeking comments,” the report said.

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