Sony Boosts TV Shipments Ahead of Black Friday, After Tariffs — Panjiva
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Sony Boosts TV Shipments Ahead of Black Friday, After Tariffs

Cons. Discr. - Durables 181 Cons. Discr. - Retailing 208 Info Tech - Tech Hardware 476 U.S. 3834

The tariffs applied as part of the U.S.-China trade war may have distorted supply chain operations for retailers and manufacturers ahead of the critical Black Friday / Cyber Monday peak shopping season. Most products outside of certain clothes, laptop computers and mobile phones have been covered by tariffs since the beginning of September.

While retail sales growth continued at 3.1% year over year on a seasonally adjusted basis, as outlined in Panjiva research Nov. 19, there are signs that overstocking due to tariffs may be minimal given U.S. seaborne imports of popular consumer electricals and electronics fell in October compared to a year earlier.

Panjiva data shows that U.S. seaborne imports of televisions – a Black Friday staple – fell by as much as 56.8% year over year in October after the imposition of list 4A tariffs in September. There’s unlikely to be a roll-back in tariffs under the so-called “phase 1” trade deal in time for the holiday shopping season in December. Shipments are still 34.9% below 2017 levels, suggesting weaker demand is expected and / or more aggressive management of inventories.

Among other products, audio equipment has seen a similar but more moderate pattern with a 14.6% decline in October – importers such as Apple may be relying on tariff exemptions to improve competitiveness in the mid-term. Imports of appliances fell by 13.4% in October in part due to lower shipments of washers due to earlier tariffs while shipments of fridge freezers fell 14.7% microwaves declined by 1.9%.

TELEVISIONS TUNED OUT BY TARIFFS

Chart segments change in U.S. seaborne imports by product category for televisions, audio equipment and appliances including fridges, microwaves and washersSource: Panjiva

The most striking decline in television shipments has been by Samsung Electronics. U.S. imports linked to the firm by sea and from Mexico slumped 51.4% year over year in October after a 33.2% drop in 3Q. That would suggest both a cutback in demand as well as suffering by comparison to a tariff-worry driven surge in shipments a year earlier.

By contrast LG Electronics shipments by sea and land fell by just 5.0% year over year after a 12.0% in 3Q – again demand may have declined. By contrast Sony’s land and sea shipments actually increased by 2.9% in October after a 12.9% drop in 3Q.

SONY’S TV SHIPMENTS RETURN TO GROWTH, SAMSUNG CUTS BACK

Chart segments change in U.S. imports of televisions by sea from all origins and by land from Mexico by shipper.  Source: Panjiva

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