Direct Materials Price Variance

True Tamplin

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®
Updated on August 25, 2021

Materials price variance (or direct materials price variance) is that part of materials cost variance which is due to difference between actual price paid and standard price specified for direct materials. It represents the difference between standard cost of actual quantity purchased and actual cost of these materials.
Although the materials price variance may not be controllable, it provides management with important information for the purpose of planning and decision making. The knowledge of this variance may prompt the management to increase product price, use substitute materials or find other offsetting sources of cost reduction.




The data relating to direct materials cost of Hampton Appliance Company for the month of January 2016 is given below:

  • Actual price: $6 per unit
  • Standard price: $5.25 per unit
  • Actual quantity purchased: 5,000 units

Required: Calculate direct materials price variance of Hampton Appliance Company for the month of January 2016.


The direct materials price variance of Hampton Appliance Company is unfavorable for the month of January because the actual price paid to buy 5,000 units of direct material is more than the standard price.

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

About the Author
True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True contributes to his own finance dictionary, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website, view his author profile on Amazon, his interview on CBS, or check out his speaker profile on the CFA Institute website.

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