Higher raw material costs are forcing Chinese white goods manufacturers to raise prices, with an industry analyst predicting a spate of price rises in May.
Haier, one of the leading domestic white goods manufacturers, has raised its prices on goods, mainly washing machines and refrigerators, by 5 percent to 10 percent.
The price rise was due to rocketing costs for human resources and raw materials such as steel, Haier said.
Meanwhile, oil price rises have added costs to transportation, it said.
Haier was the first among domestic brands to raise prices. Market analysts said others would follow suit soon, though price rises would not be as high as Haier. General price rises would be no higher than 5 percent, predicted Liu Jun, a market observer with Donghai Securities.
Siemens lifted all its home appliance prices between 3 and 5 percent because of higher costs, from January 4. Other foreign brands including Panasonic, LG and Bosch announced price rises subsequently.
White goods manufacturers suffered from an iron ore price rise, as steel is the main raw material.
China's steel makers agreed to pay a massive 65 percent rise in iron ore prices last week. The runaway iron ore prices pushed steel prices up significantly. Prices of major types of steel increased by 400 yuan to 500 yuan per ton in China from Feb. 13 to Feb. 21.
(Xinhua News Agency February 25, 2008)