Any increases in the prices of household electrical appliances are unjustified, the Cyprus Consumers Association said on Monday claiming that the reason behind the price hikes is the rise in transportation costs of goods due to Houthi attacks on commercial vessels in the Red Sea.

“Preparing consumers for potential increases without knowing the exact figures or justifications is impractical,” he said, adding that altered shipping routes affected various products, not just electrical appliances,” head of the association Constantinos Karagiorgis said.

“Unwarranted announcements regarding increases might result in traders taking advantage of the situation,” he explained.

“The current prices are shaped by transportation fees reaching up to €13,000 per shipping container,” the association said.

“The prices of appliances have also either remained stagnant or experienced minimal reductions.”

According to the Statistical Service, between January 2021 and January 2023, an overall price increase in large household appliances and electrical devices of 11.8 per cent was seen. This includes an 8.2 per cent increase in refrigerators and freezers, a 9 per cent rise in washing machines and dishwashers and a 14.4 per cent surge in kitchen appliance prices.

However, the association also called on all parties to exercise caution in their public statements, stressing that the primary goal should be to remain accurate.

Karagiorgis said that forecasting and announcing price increases are only appropriate when backed by tangible events.

However, substantial increases in olive oil prices in January were due to a shortage in Europe, impacting pricing in Cyprus.

In Spain and Italy, he said, major producers, are facing significant shortages, therefore influencing the overall market and pricing in Cyprus.

Speaking to the Cyprus News Agency (CNA), Karagiorgis said the good news was a significant downward trend in fuel prices, aligning with global records.

He noted that the Price Observatory had detected this trend, leading to reduced inflation. The impact of this specific reduction extended to other products as transport costs would fall.