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Asean Affairs    26 September, 2014

Southeast Asia’s major domestic appliances sector reached nearly USD5.8 billion in past 12 months: GfK

Strong market expansion in Vietnam and Laos; local conditions in Thailand and Indonesia impede regional growth

25 September, 2014, Singapore – Over 20.5 billion units of air conditioners, washing machines, refrigerators, and microwave ovens were sold across eight countries in Southeast Asia in the last 12 months. GfK retail audit tracking of the major domestic appliances reported consumers in Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines, Cambodia and Laos reported a slight slowdown in consumer demand by around three percent during the August 2013 to July 2014 period, compared to the same period a year ago.

In this region, strongest performances were seen in developing Cambodia and Laos—both reporting strong double digit surges in value and volume sales of 11 and 17 percent, and 59 and 21 percent respectively over the previous year.

“Generally, the Southeast Asia’s MDA sector is still on an upward trend with countries like Vietnam and Philippines continuing to reflect strong demand,” said Jasmine Lim, Account Director for Home & Lifestyle at GfK Asia. “The slower overall growth this year was largely attributed to the weaker performances of Thailand and Indonesia due to local factors.”

The political situation in Thailand earlier this year was attributed as one of the contributing reasons for the stifled performance of their MDA market. Meanwhile, Indonesia also turned in a lackluster performance due to fuel price and electricity tariffs hike and the political uncertainty which resulted from the recent election.

Over 7.7 million units of refrigerators valued at USD 2.12 billion were sold over the past year, making it the biggest contributing segment in the sector in terms of value and volume. In spite of the lower consumer demand there, Indonesia continued to reign as the largest market, selling well over 3 million refrigerators worth nearly USD 606 million. Second largest refrigerator market in this region, valued at almost USD 534 million is Vietnam with a turnover of 1.85 million units.

“With the ongoing modernization of the developing economies in Southeast Asia, demand for two door freezers has been on the rapid rise such that these models have displaced the one door models to become the preferred choice,” said Lim. “Today, they make up more than half of all refrigerator volume sales and is the most common type consumers choose to buy in almost all the countries.”

Over USD 2 billion were spent on nearly 5 million air conditioners across Southeast Asia—accounting for nearly a quarter of all major appliances sold in the region. Vietnam reported strong growth of 25 percent in both volume and value, generating USD 480 million in total air con sales in the past year.

“It is worth highlighting the inclination of households acquiring inverter models due to the growing concern towards electricity consumption, especially in Vietnam as cost has gone up notably in recent years,” said Lim. “Our findings revealed that demand for inverter air cons have shot up at a rate double that of non-inverter models.”

GfK was a partner at the recent IFA 2014 trade fair held in Berlin and shared interesting global insights into trends of the MDA market, which saw the sector (excluding North America) developing positively in the first half of 2014. Overall, volume sales in the global market for major domestic appliances (excluding North America) were up 2 percent. In terms of revenue, the industry even registered growth of 4 percent.

“The markets of Thailand and Vietnam are expected to pick up in the months to come as local conditions start to stabilize and consumer sentiments anticipated to improve consequently,” Lim commented. “This will definitely help to better the overall performance of major domestic appliances in Southeast Asia, where better results are expected in the near future,” she concluded.

About GfK
GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices.

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