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% util...

BL Premium

This article is reserved for our subscribers.

A subscription helps you enjoy the best of our business content every day along with benefits such as exclusive Financial Times articles, Morningstar financial data, and digital access to the Sunday Times and Times Select.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.