Despite the recession and consumer crisis, the prices of computers and TV increased in the last two months between 30 and 90%, depending on the make and model. This is indicated in a report prepared exclusively for Clarion by the consulting firm MRT (Market, Research & Technology), which surveyed the web and graphic media publications of 50 chains and specialized businesses. “The price increase mainly affects notebooks from imported brands (HP, Lenovo and Dell), and it is mainly due to the fact that demand was greater than supply “, summarizes Gastón García, an analyst at MRT. In comparison, the rise in prices on TV was less, but equally significant, and contrasts with the relative stability of cell phones.
With nuances, in the industry they justify the increases and argue that they have to do with the uncertainty that importers have about access to the official dollar to be able to pay for purchases abroad. And that to cover they adjust prices based on alternative dollars, such as Cash with Liqui and Blue. In the case of notebooks, the notorious shortage of products and models validates the increases between consumers burdened by the lockdown.
“The price surge was remarkable. In the last two months, computers went from being given away to being very expensive in international terms, “says consultant Enrique Carrier. The update of values coincides with the impact of quarantine and mandatory isolation. That produced, Carrier adds,”a rebirth of demand“, due to the need to update home computer equipment by the rise of telecommuting, distance education and children’s entertainment. “In a short time the stock disappeared and the supply today is very uneven,” says Carrier, alluding to the current supply of laptops.
MRT’s report is illustrative. Among the 20 best-selling models there are notable cases. For example, from April to July the Hewlett Packard 14CM0045L went from cost $ 29,522 (on average) to $ 46,229; a Lenovo S14514IGM -Celeron-, of $35.000 a $63.000; and a Positive BGH AT300, of $23.500 a $57.800. The price curve, however, is not linear in all cases. In fact, the offer from the beginning of the year to date changed abruptly, precisely because of high demand and shortages. In the general average, in January an average laptop cost $ 84,520. Prices were falling (crisis through) until reaching to the floor of $ 48,891 in May. Today, exceeds $ 155,000, more than triple. It is a theoretical figure, since the study compares different models, but it serves to broadly observe the general trend.
“Regarding the TV -analyzes García-, prices were stable until April. In the following months there were gradual adjustments and in August there are increases ranging from 10 to 45%, depending on the brand and the screen size. “On cell phones, the consultant adds,” no major changes are observed throughout the year. “. In the sector they warn that that category has a different logic. The brands update almost the entire catalog annually and the liquidation of the stock is functional to maintain constant demand.
Computers concentrate all the attention. A senior executive of a multinational explains that the raises have two reasons. The first is the global quarantines, “which limited the supply of products,” he said. However, he stressed that the most important thing “is the uncertainty about access to the official dollar, with which the lists are made according to alternative dollars.” Remarks partly reflect those fears.
There are also time issues. “A shipment from abroad takes between 2 and 3 months to reach Argentina and payment commitments are assumed in between,” said a senior executive from a leading brand. The terms may be longer, depending on the importer and country of origin. The importers (Air Computers, PC Arts, PC Solutions, Distecna and Grupo Núcleo, among others) distribute the responsibility in the remarks.
“Prices are regulated by supply and demand,” one of them slipped to Clarion. But he added that there are other elements that distort the market, such as the re-implementation of non-automatic licenses to import and the global shortage of panels and processors. On the other hand, he also mentioned the rise in the official dollar (15%) and the elimination of promotions and discounts from the chains.