Pakistan’s large-scale manufacturing (LSM) output rose by 5.46pc in the Jul-Oct period from the prior period. The economy is recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic as industrial activities gather pace. The LSM index increased by 6.66pc in October from the prior year and the output grew by 3.95pc from September, according to Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data.
The country’s nonmetallic mineral production, pharma, food and beverage, paper production grew by 22.88pc, 13.53pc, 12.16pc, 10.46pc, respectively in Jul-Oct period.
Output of products including automobiles, steel products, electronics, engineering fell by 1.62pc and 5.41pc, 23.01pc and 34.05pc respectively in the Jul-Oct period.
Steelmakers increased long steel output, while flat steel production lagged amid slow demand from auto sector. Various factors including low-priced imports of HRC/CRC from China, high scrap and iron ore price and sluggish demand for steel have squeezed the margins of steel mills in Pakistan. Slow pace of construction and infrastructure projects have impacted steel demand due to which steelmakers are unable to raise price in proportion to the rise in input costs. Traders and mills are also struggling with cash flow issues.
|Pakistan’s steel production in October (mt)|
|Production||Oct-20||Oct-19||Change YoY||Jul-Oct 20||Jul-Oct 19||Change YoY|
|HRC / CRC||2,80,200||3,61,800||-22.55||10,39,700||14,48,300||-28.21|
Car production is steadily recovering with October, jeep and car production up by 20pc from a year ago though it is still down by 12.12pc on a cumulative basis in the Jul-Oct period. Production of tractors rose by 2.24pc in October, while trucks and buses output fell by 20.95pc and 30pc, respectively, from the prior year. Motorcycles and LCV production increased by 8pc each in October.