JIS News

Real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) for the Manufacturing and Processing sector was estimated to have increased by 2 per cent for the July to September quarter last year, compared to the corresponding period of 2003.
The survey of selected manufactured commodities, undertaken by the Planning Institute of Jamaica (PIOJ), revealed that the higher levels of production of beverage products and cement heavily influenced this performance.
The non-metallic Minerals industry recorded higher production levels, compared with the similar quarter of 2003. Cement production for the quarter was 186,752 tonnes, compared with the corresponding period of 2003 when it was 149,084 tonnes. According to the Economic Update and Outlook report, “the growth in cement production is consistent with the growth in the Construction Industry”.
Overall, output in the Beverages &Tobacco sub-sector is reported to have increased relative to the corresponding quarter. There were increases in the production of Rum and Alcohol by 15.1 per cent, Beer by 47.5 per cent, Stout by 8.5 per cent and Carbonated Beverages by 11.1 per cent.
The higher output levels in the Rum and Alcohol industry, the report stated, resulted from increased efficiency due to repairs done to equipment by one of the leading producers in 2003. On the other hand, the increased output of Beer was influenced by increased demand, which was partly influenced by promotional activities and expansion in export markets.
Cigarette production, however, saw a decline of some 8.7 per cent, the first notable reduction since January 2004.
Decline was also reported for Petroleum products for that quarter as there was no production of Petroleum in August and September due to the closure of the refinery for maintenance and the introduction of a new instrumentation system.
The Food Processing sub-sector also reported an overall decline, relative to the corresponding quarter of 2003. Lower production levels were recorded for sugar (down 38.2 per cent); molasses (down 29.1 per cent); flour (down 13.3 per cent); animal feeds (down 8.0 per cent) and edible oils (down 5.5 per cent. The reduction of sugar was said to have been as a result of deterioration in the quality of sugar cane harvested during the quarter under review.
Increases were recorded for dairy products (up 85.9 per cent); poultry meat (up 3.5 per cent) and condensed milk up (3.4 per cent). In the Dairy industry, higher output was recorded for cheese, the first increase since the imposition of the General Consumption Tax (GCT) on this item in May 2003.
According to the Economic Update and Outlook report, poultry production at the time of the hurricane had already improved, relative to the corresponding period of 2003, and would have been higher had it not been for the damage to the broiler industry.
For the quarter, output from the Chemicals & Chemical Products sub-sector decreased, relative to the corresponding quarter of 2003, with the exception of Fertilizer, which went up 21.9 per cent; Sulphonic Acid up 20.7 per cent and Aluminium Sulphate up 5.8 per cent.
For January to September 2004, overall performance of the Manufacturing and Processing sector was estimated to have increased by 4.4 per cent, compared with the corresponding period of 2003.
Improvement in the quality of some products, which led to high output levels; repair and maintenance of equipment, which led to increased efficiency and product development; and renovation of some major producers contributed to the increase in the sector.

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