ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s large-scale manufacturing (LSM) grew 11.7 per cent year-on-year in 2021-22, the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics reported on Tuesday.

The big industry posted robust growth in the outgoing fiscal year mainly because of food, textile, apparel, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, iron & steel products, automobiles, and furniture.

The main contributors towards overall growth of 11.7pc are garments 3.8pc, liquids/syrups 1.9pc, sugar 1.7pc, jeeps & cars 1.3pc, furniture 1.1pc, woolen blankets 0.6pc, chemical products 0.6pc, billets/ingots 0.5pc, and cigarettes 0.4pc.

However, on a month-on-month basis, the LSM increased by 0.2pc in June.

The production estimation for LSM industries was made using the new base year of 2015-16. However, as per the old base 2005-06, the LSM grew 7.7pc year-on-year in FY22 and 14.2pc month-on-month in June.

Since September 2020, the LSM has rebounded after months of a downturn. Initially, the pace was slow till December 2021 but rebounded from January onwards.

The expansion of LSM also appeared to be broad-based, with 19 out of 22 sectors of LSM witnessing positive growth in FY22. It is feared that high-interest rates and the depreciation of the rupee have increased the cost of raw materials further, and economic activity is expected to slightly slow down during the current financial year.

During FY22, LSM with 9.2pc of GDP dominates the overall manufacturing sector, accounting for 74.3pc of the sectoral share followed by small-scale manufacturing, which accounts for 2pc of total GDP and 15.9pc sectoral share.

Textile sector weight has the highest among all sectors of LSM. The sector grew by 3.5pc YoY in FY22. Major growth originated from woollen segment production with the highest surge of 46.3pc in woollen & carpet yarn, 38.7pc in blankets, and 28.5pc in woollen & worsted cloth. Production of yarn and cloth showed marginal growth of 0.5pc and 0.2pc, respectively. Wearing apparel has been separated from the textile sector with 6.08pc weight showing a growth of 49.4pc. The sector has gained traction local as well as in the international market as garments production grew at 49.4pc.

The food group having the second highest weight witnessed a growth of 8.4pc. Sugar, bakery and chocolate & sugar confectionery, tea blended, and starch came up with significant growth of 39.1pc, 2.5pc and 10.8pc, respectively.

Production of cooking oil increased by 10.9pc, while vegetable ghee down by 4.3pc. Surging palm oil and soyabean prices on the international market coupled with the depreciating rupee were the major factors responsible for a lower level of production. Wheat and milling rice output shrank 4pc during the period under review.

Coke and petroleum products marginally grew by 0.7pc in FY22. High global energy prices depressed the overall growth momentum. Besides, production of jute batching oil, jet fuel oil, kerosene, diesel and solvent naphtha remained encouraging as demand spurred from transportation.

The automobile sector marked a vigorous growth of 49.4pc in FY22 while car production increased by 50.5pc, jeeps by 51pc, trucks by 52.6pc, buses by 18.8pc, and tractors by 16.2pc, respectively.

The iron & steel production jumped by 16.3pc during the period under review. Billets/ingots, mainly used in the construction industry, grew by 33.1pc and H/CR Sheets/Strips/Coils/plates increased by 7.4pc. Both reflect the growth momentum in automobile and construction-allied sectors.

Production of non-metallic mineral products rose 1pc. The chemical products showed growth of 19.4pc. Sulphuric acid, hydrochloric acid, soda ash, and toilet soaps remained the major contributors to the overall growth in FY22.

Published in Dawn, August 17th, 2022

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