The average large South African factory used 81% of its capacity in the third quarter, Stats SA reported on Thursday.

This indicates a slight uptick from the second quarter’s 80.6% utilisation.

Stats SA splits the reasons for under-utilisation of manufacturing capacity into four categories.

The main reason for factories not running at full output was lack of demand, accounting for 11.7% of the 19% not utilised.

“Other” was the second biggest problem, accounting for 4.1%, while raw material and lack of skilled people each contributed 2%.

Of the 10 industries Stats SA splits its quarterly manufacturing utilisation report into, textile and clothing factories had the lowest utilisation at 72.3%, and petroleum and plastic plants the highest at 83.8%.

Seven of the 10 industries showed annual declines in utilisation.

Electronics factories suffered most with a drop of 4.5 percentage points to 80.5%, followed by food and beverage factories which fell 1.9 percentage points to 80.8% utilisation.