Manufacturing, mining production report double-digit contractions in 2020

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Stats SA on Thursday released manufacturing and mining data for December 2020.
Stats SA on Thursday released manufacturing and mining data for December 2020.
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Both manufacturing and mining production contracted by more than 10% in 2020, data from Stats SA shows.

Stats SA on Thursday released December 2020 manufacturing production and mining production.

Manufacturing production decreased by 11% in 2020, compared to 2019, data shows. All 10 manufacturing divisions reported negative growth rates over the past year.

On a year-on-year basis, it increased 1.8%. The largest positive contributors were food and beverages; followed by motor vehicles, parts and other transport equipment; basic iron and steel products and wood and wood products.

Petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products were the largest negative contributors to the annual figure.

On a month-on-month basis, manufacturing production declined by 0.1% in December 2020, compared to November 2020.

"Total mining production was 10.7% lower in 2020 compared with 2019. The 10.7% decrease in annual mining production followed a decrease of 0.5% in 2019 and a decrease of 1.5% in 2018," Stats SA said in a separate report on mining production.

Mining production increased by 0.1% year-on-year in December 2020. The largest positive contributions were manganese ore, diamonds and coal. The largest negative contributor was platinum group metals.

On a month-on-month basis, mining production increased 0.5% in December compared to November 2020. This follows month-on-month contractions of 2.4% in November and 0.8% in October.

Mineral sales managed to increase 23.8% year-on-year in December.  

Mineral sales increased by 23,8% year-on-year in December 2020. "Total mineral sales were 10.4% higher in 2020 compared with 2019," Stats SA said.

Commenting on the sector's performance in 2020, FNB economists noted that rebound in activity, particularly in China and stronger commodity prices supported mining. "... employment losses were lower than initially feared."

According to Investec economist Lara Hodes, the 0.1% increase in December for mining production is the first since February 2020. 


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