Driven by the early arrival of summer and intense heat wave, residential air conditioner makers are looking forward to a record sales of around 90 lakh units this year, said Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association on Tuesday.

Already, in April the industry has blocked the sale of around 17.5 lakh units, which is also an all-time high for the month.

ity of certain products could be an issue in the next couple of months as manufacturers may not be in a position to supply their en- tire range of models to meet market demand, especially the energy-efficient 5-star range, due to high demand and supply constraints of components such as controllers and compressors, said Eric Braganza, president of CEAMA (Consumer Electronics and Appliances Manufacturers Association).

At an industry level, the estimated sales of residential ACS (Air Conditioners) in the month of April 2022 is around 1.75 million units. The sales are double compared to April 2021 and 30 – 35 percent over April 2019 figures, Braganza told.

However, this displays a staggering growth as compared to the pre-pandemic levels, he added. The growth can be attributed to the opening up of markets along with the sweltering heat wave across the country, and going by the trend, the demand for air conditioners will be good even in May and June as well, Braganza added.

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About expectations for 2022, he said, Based on the severe summer and the sales trends in the first four months, the AC market this year is expected to be between 8.5 million and 9 million units. It will be the highest ever.

Braganza, however, cautioned that the availability of certain products could be an issue in the next couple of months and the industry could experience shortages, as there are supply issues of controllers and compressors especially from China, while the demand for more energy-ef ficient ACs are very high.

Manufacturers may not be in a position to supply their entire range of models to meet market demand, especially the energy-efficient 5-star range, he said.

Besides, the CEAMA president also said there could be a price hike of around 4-5 percent to protect margins as input costs have increased substantially. In the last 18-20 months, the consumer appliance/durable goods industry has seen a price increase of up to 15 per cent. With the continued rise in raw material, crude oil and global freight rates, many manufacturers will increase their pricing in the range of 2-4 per cent in the coming months, he said.

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