Core sectors output growth remain negative for Nov 2020
In November 2020, the eight core sectors output growth remained in a negative trajectory for the ninth successive month. Rather after showing an improvement in September 2020, it has been deteriorated persistently in October 2020 and November 2020. During the month, the eight core sectors output contracted by 2.6 per cent year on year as against the 0.7 per cent growth in the same month of last year. The output growth during the month was also lower than the 0.6 per cent de-growth in October 2020. The decline in growth can be ascribed to persistent fall in crude oil, refineries, natural gas, steel output.
For October 2020, the core sector growth has been revised upwards from -2.5 per cent (prov.) to -0.9 per cent (first revision) on account of improved production in steel, cement and electricity sector.
The cumulative index of eight core sector during April – November 2020 contracted by 11.4 per cent indicative of the adverse impact on industrial production during the lockdown period compared with the 0.3 per cent growth in the corresponding period of last year. There was a broad based contraction across sectors during this period barring fertilizer, the output of which grew by 3.8 per cent due to favourable monsoon and sowing season this year.
Coal production growth slowed in November 2020 and the output grew by 2.9 per cent at a four month low (11.7 per cent growth in October 2020). However, it was better when compared with the 3.5 per cent contraction in the same month of FY20. Revival in demand for power post easing in lockdown and resumption of industrial activities has along with favourable base has led to increase in output in coal.
Crude oil production contracted for three successive years. In November the crude oil production declined at a slower 4.9 per cent compared with the 6 per cent de-growth in November 2020. Fall in production can be ascribed to low realisations due to Covid restrictions/lockdown, technical mishaps due to Covid-19 implications, reservoir issues and shut in of wells and reduced off take.
Natural gas production also declined for nearly 2 years. In November 2020, the natural gas output contracted by 9.3 per cent, higher than the 6.4 per cent decline in November 2019. Closure of Gas wells in western offshore due to Hazira Plant shutdown, low upliftment/demand of gas by the major customers like power plants, bandhs/blockade by local people and associations, etc. after the Baghjan Blowout among others weighed on overall production during the month.
Refinery production, having high weightage in eight core (28 per cent), contracted for successive 9 months in a row. However, the pace of contraction moderated in November 2020 to -4.8 per cent compared with the -17 per cent de-growth in the previous month. In November 2019, however, the refinery output had grown by 3.1 per cent. Low capacity utilisation and low product demand due to Covid impact led to decline in production during the month.
Fertilizer output, grew by 1.6 per cent in November 2020, lower than the 13.6 per cent growth in November 2019 and 6.3 per cent in October 2020. Expected increase in demand during the ongoing Rabi season might have supported the growth during the month.
Output of steel sector contracted for the first time in the past 4 months in November 2020 by 4.4 per cent as against the 7 per cent growth in November 2019 and 4 per cent growth in October 2020. Low demand from automobile sector, high raw material costs and relatively muted construction activities with lockdown imposition in parts of the country must have weighed on the steel production.
After witnessing a revival in October 2020, the cement production took a hit in November 2020 and contracted by 7.1 per cent compared with the 4.3 per cent growth in November 2019 on account of likely muted construction activities with resurgence in infection cases and subsequent restrictions on activities.
Electricity production grew by 2.2 per cent albeit at a slower pace by 2.2 per cent in November 2020 than the 11.2 per cent growth in the previous month but was better than the 4.9 per cent contraction in the same month of last year.
CARE Ratings’ View
Going ahead, the eight core sectors growth would be contingent on the ease in restrictions along with high base effect. On account of fall in eight core sector growth the IIP growth for this month could see only marginal improvement between 0 to 1 per cent.
Courtesy: CARE Ratings
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dr Rucha Ranadive, Economist, CARE Ratings. Can be contacted at: email@example.com | Tel: +91-22-6837 43406
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