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Appliance Industry Mired In Short Supply Problems

Home appliances supply is a major problem with brands including Electrolux, Fisher & Paykel, Samsung and LG struggling to get supply this has left consumers waiting months for appliances such as a dishwasher or microwaves in Australia.

Originally caused by the global semiconductor crunch and supply chain disruptions tied to Beijing’s zero-COVID policy, appliance companies are now claiming that the combination of shipping problems and rising prices could create new problems for retailers.

“Delivery delays began to emerge in May, and we have been telling customers that they will have to wait one to two months for delivery,” said a sales staffer at an electronics retail shop in Tokyo.

According to Nikki Asia microwaves and rice cookers are out of supply around the world. One brand that is sourcing from Thailand is Sharp, they claim that they still have supply of microwaves.

Washing machines are particularly mired in short supply.

One retailer website shows that 70% of the 40 drum-type machines listed are out of stock, with tags saying, “items will be shipped as soon as they arrive.”

Some machines, including those from LG electronics, are scheduled to ship in August or later, another brand with supply is Beko.

About 30% of refrigerator models also are cold out of stock.

Air conditioners are also tipped to be in short supply more so because of chip shortages.

A major retailer who did not want to be named said “The impact of the lockdown in Shanghai has been significant, and the supply network still seems to be in disarray,” the retailer said.

In Japan Hitachi has suspended sales of some washing machine models since the end of April. Delays in parts deliveries from China hamper production at Japanese plants, the company said.

Scandal riddled Mitsubishi Electric postponed the May 21 launch of its new rice cooker models and is struggling to deliver refrigerators.

Panasonic the #1 microwave brand in Australia has suspended production of some washing machines at its plant in eastern Japan’s Shizuoka Prefecture since mid-April due to the shutdown of a client factory in China that makes parts.

In a survey by research firm Teikoku Databank, 48% of Japanese appliance manufacturers said the Chinese lockdown would have a “negative impact.”

“As long as the Chinese government continues its zero-corona policy, there are no prospects of a normalization of the supply chain,” said Yuji Miura, a senior research fellow at the Japan Research Institute who is familiar with China’s manufacturing industry

“Companies need to identify risks in China, including those at the end of the supply chain, and secure alternative sources of procurement and production in case of an emergency,” he said, noting that sporadic disruptions in various cities remain possible.

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