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New Delhi: Consumers looking to buy TVs in the coming months may have to shed more money. The prices of LED TVs is expected to go up as the cost of open-cell panels has gone up in the global markets by up to 35% in the past one month.

According to a report by PTI, brands such as Panasonic, Haier and Thomson are considering to increase prices from April this year. Other brands such as LG have already raised prices already due to the increased costs of open-cell panels.

The report quoted Panasonic India and South Asia President CEO Manish Sharma stating, "Panel prices are rising continuously and so are the prices of TVs. It is likely that TV prices may increase further by April."

When being asked about the quantum on increase, he said, "Seeing current trends, it might go up 5-7 per cent more by April."

Haier Appliances India President Eric Braganza also mentioned the same reasons and said that there is no other way than to increase the prices.

"The prices of open-cell have gone up tremendously and the trends are that it would keep on increasing," said Braganza adding that "if that continues, we would have to continuously increase prices".

Since open-cell panels constitute as much as 60% of the TV unit, prices of the commodity have a strong impact on the cost of the product. Once a company acquires the television panels in an open-cell state, they make value additions and assemble the TV before shipping it for sale.

Super Plastronics Pvt Ltd (SPPL), the brand licensee for French Electronics brand Thomson and US-based brand Kodak, said there is a scarcity of open cell in the market and the prices have almost gone up by three-folds in the past eight months.

"From the past eight months, there has been a month-on-month increase in panel prices, we have witnessed more than 350 per cent spike in LED TV panels. Globally, panel market has slowed down. Despite that, there has been an increase of 35 per cent in the past 30 days," said SPPL Chief Executive Officer Avneet Singh Marwah.

He added that the per-unit cost of TVs would go up by at least 2,000-3,000 starting from April.

Daiwa and Shinco brands, owned by Videotex International, said the industry has never seen or expected such a price increase of open-cell.

"Since 32 inch is the most-sold size in India, the price of a 32-inch screen size is expected to go up by 5,000-6,000," said Videotex International Group Director Arjun Bajaaj.

While South Korean brand LG said it will not increase the prices of its TV panels.

"We are not going for any price increase now for TV. We have already increased the prices by around 7-4 per cent in January and 3 per cent in February, because of the hike in panel prices," said LG Electronics India Vice-President (Home Appliances) Vijay Babu.

Marwah added that the open-cell market is dominated by Chinese manufacturers and alleged that TV makers from China are getting better prices from them. 

"Currently, there is no alternative apart from China where all panel manufacturers are present. It has been closely observed that only Chinese brands are getting better supply and price.

"This has been the narrative especially after the pandemic, where Chinese TV brands, which have been flooded in the Indian market to counter Indian manufacture brands by better price and supply," he added.

The government should bring TV manufacturing under the production-linked incentive (PLI) scheme, a move which will make the Indian TV industry more competitive on the global stage, Marwah added.

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