Sales of cooling appliances soar as Nepal swelters

Major dealers expect the market to bounce back with robust sales as the unrelenting heat wave sweeps across major parts of the country.

Krishana Prasain

Krishana Prasain

The Kathmandu Post



June 15, 2023

KATHMANDU – With the mercury sizzling at 40 degrees Celsius plus in most cities across Nepal, cooling appliances are flying off the shelves, and traders expect sales to hit record highs even though the country is in the midst of an economic slowdown.

Dealers say sales started to spike in the last few weeks with demand concentrated mostly in the Tarai plains.

As per importers of air conditioners, fans, coolers and refrigerators, people sweltering in their homes are not being stingy anymore despite rising prices.

Demand for cooling appliances had crashed during the Covid pandemic. Additionally, the consumer appliances industry was hit by freight problems and component shortages as the Russia-Ukraine war pushed up input and transport costs.

The Nepali rupee’s sinking against the United States dollar also made imports prohibitively expensive.

Major dealers expect the market to bounce back with robust sales as the unrelenting heat wave sweeps across major parts of the country.

“Sales of air conditioners and coolers have jumped by three times compared to summer last year. This is mainly due to the scorching heat in recent weeks,” said Bishnu Gyawali, deputy general manager at CG Electronics.

“Sales of air conditioners and coolers, in particular, have shot up. The surge in demand has helped to revive the business of consumer electronics which had almost hit rock bottom,” he said.

“Fast sales have brought welcome relief to businesses amid the economic recession.”

CG Electronics sells air conditioners, coolers and fans of CG, LG, Godrej, TCL, Sansui, Midea and Kent brands, among others. Prices of air conditioners ranged from Rs60,000 to Rs100,000. Coolers cost between Rs10,000 and Rs30,000.

“Sales of air conditioners, fans, coolers, refrigerators and hand fans have soared by more than 50 percent in the past month as compared to last summer,” said Surakchya Adhikari, co-founder and chief operating officer of, a Kathmandu-based online shopping platform.

“It is just June and we expect sales to rise in the coming months as the temperature is breaking records in many parts of the country,” she said.

“Orders for air conditioners, fans, coolers, refrigerators and hand fans account for one-fourth of our daily orders, which is a high figure. Most of the orders are from outside the valley, places like Bardibas, Biratnagar, Nepalgunj and other cities in the Tarai,” Adhikari said.

According to traders, sales of air conditioners are high in city areas while demand for coolers is soaring in the villages.

Fan sales are lower than usual indicating that people are willing to open their wallets wide for smart technology and high-end appliances, dealers say.

Consumer preferences have also changed with increasing remittance inflow. Remittance crossed the Rs1 trillion mark in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year.

Traders said that demand for cooling items started picking up in mid-May. They expect strong sales till September in the Tarai region if the hot weather keeps up.

Nepal imported 59,611 air conditioners worth Rs2.27 billion in the last fiscal year, which traders say represented a depressed market.

According to the Department of Customs, the country imported 2 million fans valued at Rs2.10 billion in the last fiscal year.

Imports of air conditioners had reached 52,059 units worth Rs2 billion as of the first 10 months of the current fiscal year ended mid-May.

Imports of fans totalled 1.4 million units worth Rs1.27 billion in the review period.

Many districts in the Tarai flatlands have been continuously air fried, disrupting daily life. Several places around the country observed record-breaking temperatures. In the central and western Tarai, the mercury rose above 40 degrees Celsius.

On Saturday, Bhairahawa recorded 41.2 degrees Celsius, Nepalgunj 40.8 degrees, Dhangadhi 40.6 degrees and Simara 40.5 degrees.

Birendranagar recorded 39.4 degrees Celsius and Janakpur 38.4 degrees Celsius, according to the Meteorological Forecasting Division of the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology,

Kathmandu on Saturday sweltered in the year’s highest temperature of 33.3 degrees Celsius.

The eastern hill station of Kanyam Tea Estate, which is normally covered with fog throughout the year, registered a 50-year high of 29.5 degrees Celsius on June 2.

“The June to September season this year will be hotter than in the last 30 years,” said Indira Kadel, senior division meteorologist at the Climate Division in the Department of Hydrology and Meteorology.

According to the climate outlook for the 2023 southwest monsoon season (June to September) produced by the South Asian Climate Outlook Forum in April, above-normal minimum temperatures are likely over most parts of South Asia except some parts of the Himalayan foothills.

The outlook on maximum temperatures for the June to September season suggests that seasonal maximum temperatures are most likely to be above normal over most parts of the region except central and parts of the southern region of South Asia.

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