Industrial production was down 0.5% in the first eight months of 2018 compared to the same period last year, the National Institute of Statistics (INS) reported on its website.
This decrease is explained by lower production of the petroleum refining sector (-29.1%), and that of the extraction of non-energy products (-16.5%), due to the decrease recorded in the production of crude phosphate (2,347.5 thousand tons in August 2018, compared with 3,229 thousand tons in August 2017).
The decline in industrial production is also due to lower production in the chemical industry (-9.8%), following the decline observed in the production of phosphate derivatives, and the decrease in production of the non-metallic mineral product manufacturing sector (-4%).
On the other hand, industrial production grew by 6.9% in the agri-food industry (following the increase in olive oil production), the extraction of energy products (3.1%), the mechanical and electrical industry (1.3%), the textile, clothing and leather industry (0.7%).
Industrial production down 0.1% in August
Industrial production edged down 0.1% in August. According to the INS, this decrease is explained by a 2.8% decline in output in the manufacturing sector, following the drop observed in the sectors of the chemical industries (-14.2%), various industries (-7.6%), paper and publishing (-7%), manufacturing of other non-metallic mineral products (-5.7%), textile clothing and leather (-3.1%), and mechanical and electrical industries (-2.7%).
The Institute also reported a 7.1% drop in electricity and water production.
Similarly, production fell by -5.7% in the non-energy extraction sector, due to a drop in crude phosphate production (387.3 thousand tons in the month of August 2018 against 407.9 thousand tons during the same period of 2017).
In contrast, industrial production saw an increase in the energy product extraction sector (+ 26.8%) following the increase in crude oil production and the petroleum refining sector (+12.5%).