The use of installed capacity in industry (UCII) in January was 57.9%, the highest level for that month since 2018, the National Institute of Statistics and Censuses (Indec) reported on Wednesday.
In this way, the use of installed capacity marked an increase of seven tenths compared to the 57.2% registered in January 2021, with which it accumulated eleven consecutive months on the rise.
Beyond the improvement verified in the year-on-year comparison, compared to last December, the indicator marked a decrease of 6.5 percentage points in January, since in the last month of 2021 it was 64.4%.
— INDEC Argentina (@INDECArgentina) March 16, 2022
This result occurred in a framework in which industrial activity fell 0.3% in January compared to the same month last year and 5.5% compared to December, due to “technical stoppages” in plants, power cuts electricity and less labor assistance due to the resurgence of cases of Covid 19.
In January, in the year-on-year comparison, four of the 12 blocks that make up the indicator grew, after registering the maximum sectoral diffusion in the previous two months.
“It is worth noting the increase in Covid infections that affected industrial activity in general in the month, both to production plants and input suppliers and destination plants abroad that reduced their demand,” they pointed out from the portfolio that Martín Guzmán drives.
The sectoral blocks that presented levels of utilization of the installed capacity higher than the general one were Oil refining, with 77.2%; Chemical substances and products, 73.1%; Paper and cardboard, 69.8%; Basic metals, 68.4%; Non-metallic minerals, 67.9%; Food products and beverages, with 58.5%.
Meanwhile, the sectoral blocks that were located below the general level were Edition and printing, with 56.3%; Tobacco products, 50.6%; Rubber and plastic, 46.8%; Metalworking, 41.1%; Textiles, 38.1%; and Automotive Industry, with 22.5%.
Despite the 0.3% drop in industrial activity in January, the indicator was 6.2 points above the pre-Covid level of February 2020 (series without seasonality) and 4.1 points more than in January of 2020.
From the INDEC they pointed out that “the results of the industrial situation in January and February of each year should be analyzed taking the first two months as a whole, given the variability of the vacation period and the technical stops scheduled by industrial establishments.”
By sectors, they specified that in January 2022, compared to the first month of 2021, the main positive impacts on the use of installed capacity are recorded in the blocks of chemical substances and products and paper and cardboard.
The block corresponding to chemical substances and products exhibited, in January, a level of utilization of the installed capacity of 73.1%, higher than that registered in the first month of the previous year (62.9%), mainly as a consequence of the higher manufacturing levels registered in the production of plastic raw materials and basic chemical products.
Meanwhile, the production of paper and cardboard presented a utilization level of 69.8%, higher than that of the same month of the previous year (58.8%), mainly explained by a greater production of paper for printing and packaging and packaging.
On the contrary, the automotive industry showed in January a level of utilization of the productive capacity of 22.5%, lower than the same month of 2021 (31.4%), due to a lower number of units manufactured by the automotive terminals, for scheduled plant shutdowns for maintenance and vacations.