Sunday March 19, 2023 | 12:15 p.m.
The production of the SME manufacturing industry increased 4.8% in February compared to the same month last year, at constant prices, according to the Argentine Confederation of Medium Enterprises (CAME). Compared to January, it also had a positive variation, reaching 1.2%.
The use of installed capacity of the companies in the sample fell slightly, to 71.7%, that is, 0.9 percentage points below January. It is the second month where production growth is combined with less use of facilities, a phenomenon that is explained by higher levels of investment in different industrial sectors, especially in Food and Beverages.
This February was greatly affected by cost increases. Delays in the deliveries of inputs by suppliers and doubts by some companies when accepting new production orders, for fear of failing to comply with delivery times, are among the patterns observed. Some firms also advance the manufacturing stock. For exporting companies, customer demands on deadlines and costs generate uncertainty.
Analysis by sector
The best performance in the annual comparison, in February, was in Wood and Furniture (+9.2%) and the worst occurred in paper and printing (-7%). Of the six sectors measured, 4 ended with growth and 2 with declines in production.
Production increased 8.1% annually in February and 2.8% monthly at constant prices. In this way, it accumulates a development of 6.6% in the first two months of the year. The use of installed capacity fell from 80.1% in January to 73.5% in February, being one of the sectors with the most investment. There was good demand and the companies stated that they could not take all the orders due to lack of production capacity and human resources to expand the offer.