"Up" sound in a piece of air conditioning industry pattern accelerated differentiation

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Entering April also represents the start of the peak season for air-conditioning sales. However, compared with the "Red April" of air-conditioning companies in previous years, this year's peak season was first poured cold water by the "price increase. Since mid-March, Haier, Midea and others have announced to adjust the ex-factory prices of their products. Since April 1, Gree has also officially adjusted the price of household air-conditioning products, with the on-hook increasing by 100-300 yuan/set and the cabinet increasing by 100-500 yuan/set. At the same time, Oaks also started to raise the price of air-conditioning products by 3%-5%. With the high prices of bulk raw materials such as copper, steel, and plastics, home appliance terminal products have "risen". Not only air conditioners are rising, but different types of home appliances such as ice-washing kitchens have ushered in different price adjustments.

The rise in prices has restrained the release of consumer demand to a certain extent, especially for price-sensitive consumer groups, many people have decided to "observe" again ". According to statistics, in the offline market in the * * quarter of 2022, the average price of air conditioning products has generally increased from 388 yuan to 4025 yuan/set, the average price of refrigerators has increased from 810 yuan to 5981 yuan/set, and the average price of washing machines has increased from 415 yuan to 3961 yuan/set. In contrast, in the * * quarter of this year, sales under China's air, ice and washing product lines fell 20.99 percent, 24.49 percent and 25.59 percent year-on-year, respectively.
Supply-side price increases, demand-side declines, pressure on the middle channel. Some home appliance dealers have reported to China's State Grid that the sales volume of home appliance stores has declined seriously at present, as has air conditioners. "In previous years, we were able to mainly push new and high-end machines, but now as users' income expectations tend to be conservative, the price expectations have also been lowered when choosing air conditioners. On the one hand, there is pressure to increase prices, and on the other hand, there is a motive for price war to rush sales. Prices are sawing, and we are suffering. Therefore, even if there is still a price increase expectation for raw materials, the ex-factory price of products may still be raised, and dealers are also waiting and watching. The demand for advance stocking is not strong. It is not easy to re-establish dealers' trust in manufacturers."
According to a recent report released by the Goldman Sachs team *, the global copper market is moving towards a shortage, on the one hand, demand in major Eurasian economies remains strong, on the other hand, production in Chile, the world's **largest copper producer, is blocked, and the uncertain outlook for Russian copper supply under the Russian-Ukrainian conflict has also added to market concerns. Goldman Sachs believes that the fundamentals of the copper market have tightened, and the existing refined copper stocks may be exhausted in the fourth quarter of this year, and the rise in copper prices is inevitable.
The reason why the rise in copper prices is crucial to the air conditioning industry is that the cost of copper in air conditioning products is larger. The core raw materials of the split air conditioner mainly include copper, stainless steel and injection molded parts, of which the cost of copper accounts for about 21% of the overall cost of air conditioning, while the total cost of the three accounts for about 40%. The cost of refrigerators is 1/4 injection molded parts, and the cost of copper accounts for about 12%. The core components of washing machines are stainless steel and ABS. The core components of traditional stoves are sheet metal and hardware. Relatively speaking, the rise in copper prices has a profound impact on air conditioning costs. Since March 2020, copper prices have started a surge mode, doubling in one year. For the 2021 year, copper prices rose another 20%, and the upward trend continued into 2022.
Sun Qian, an analyst at Tianfeng Securities, pointed out that the current round of raw material price increases began in June 2020 and reached a high level in the second quarter of 2021. At present, the price increases of copper, aluminum, plastics, hardware and glass have entered a high volatility stage after experiencing the rapid rise last year. Since the beginning of this year, as of March 24, except for aluminum and copper prices, which have increased by 55.9 and 17.6 respectively from the same period last year, the price growth rate of other core raw materials is becoming more moderate.
Sun Qian also mentioned that enterprises with a high proportion of air conditioning business, such as Gree and Midea, are more sensitive to changes in copper prices. Relatively speaking, Haier's own business accounts for a relatively large proportion of ice washing and non-copper bulk raw materials. Therefore, in this round of raw material price cycle, the rising point of injection molding parts and stainless steel is relatively backward than that of copper, and the embodiment of its cost pressure also lags behind that of enterprises with air conditioning as main business. In addition, the upper limit of transmitting cost pressure to end consumers through price increases is limited. At present, air-conditioning enterprises are also dealing with cost pressure in a multi-pronged way, such as controlling the investment of other expenses, hedging futures, and promoting cost sharing among suppliers in the industrial chain to maintain stable profits. In this case, it is a test of the enterprise for the upstream premium ability and for the downstream price increase ability, bargaining power of large brands is undoubtedly relatively small and medium-sized brands more space. For some small and medium-sized household appliance brands, the main topic in the past two years will be how to survive. According to feedback from some household appliance dealers, the current price increase is relatively rapid for large-brand air-conditioning products, while small brands do not "dare" to raise prices at will. For example, Xiaomi * recently released a large self-cleaning air conditioner with a price of only 2199 yuan.
Into April, the air conditioning industry scheduling has improved. Industry online data show that the output of the home air-conditioning industry in April was about 16.82 million units, up 5.4 from the same period last year. In fact, since March, the scheduling data has improved slightly. In addition, compared with the domestic market, air-conditioning export shipments are still off to a good start, with air-conditioning export shipments up 15.34 per cent in February from a year earlier.
Sun Qian mentioned that as my country's real estate cycle is coming to an end, the sluggish demand caused by the weakening of consumer willingness is the main factor restricting the growth of the home appliance industry, and air conditioning is no exception. Limited by the durable properties of products, air conditioners and other products in the household ownership into the bottleneck period, the slow replacement also dragged down the market growth further. Once upon a time, China's home appliance market pursued "channel is king", but now the industry needs to turn to "product is king". Especially in the current situation of rising costs and increasing pressure on enterprise operation, how to use personalized, quality and products that can meet the key points of demand to attract consumers is very important. Take air conditioning as an example. In recent years, selling points such as health and fresh air have attracted much attention because they have solved the health concerns of users, and they have also contributed to the "new sales" of products ". In fact, he believes that the home appliance industry is moving from the era of "small profits but quick turnover" to the era of "high profits". How to use innovative means to hedge cost pressure, increase the added value of products and increase the product structure will become the main theme in the future.

Source Refrigeration Express, such as invasion and deletion.