MUMBAI (Commodity Online): With the copper prices rising day by day, several companies have decided hike the price of their consumer durable products, which need usage of copper.

Companies like LG, Godrej & Boyce, Videocon and Whirlpool may hike the prices by around 5% in refrigerators, washing machines, air conditioners and flat panel displays by March to make up for increasing input costs.

The Rs 30,000-crore consumer durable industry, which had been increasing prices regularly till the Diwali season, is hit by the continuing rise in prices of raw materials such as steel, plastic and copper.

The prices of flat steel products, primarily used by the durable manufacturers and auto companies has gone up to Rs 2,000 a tonne this month, almost 8% higher than a year ago. Prices of other key components like copper and plastics too have gone up by 10% during the period.

The industry, growing at an annual rate of 10-12 %, has been increasing their prices at regular intervals. LG has increased the prices of flat televisions 6.5% since July, while Videocon last summer raised prices of all products by 3%.

Whirlpool India, which cut prices by over 5% in phases in 2009, now plans a 2-5 % price hike due to rising input costs. The US company had increased the prices of its refrigerators and washing machines by 2% last year due to higher plastic and copper prices.

Meanwhile, according to the World Bureau of Metals Statistics, the global copper market was in a surplus of 191,000 tonnes in January to November of 2009 down from 205,000 tonnes in the same period of 2008.

The British based consultancy said global consumption in the first eleven months of 2009 was 16.86 million tonnes which was fractionally higher than the same period of the previous year. Chinese apparent consumption increased by 42% to 6.576 million tonnes from 4.620 million tonnes in the previous year. However, this increase masks a build up of unreported stocks since the output of semi manufactures was reported to be only 16.7% higher than last year.