The Australian manufacturing sector expanded for the seventh consecutive month in April, with the food and beverage sub-sector delivering its best result in a year, according to a key index.
The Australian Industry Group Australian Performance of Manufacturing Index (PMI) climbed 1.7 points to 59.2 for the month of April. (readings above 50 indicate expansion in activity, while those under 50 correlate with contraction).
The index for the largest manufacturing sub-sector, food, beverages and tobacco, increased by 0.5 points to a very strong 60.1 points in April. Food and beverages processors in the Australian PMI noted stronger Easter sales, but surpluses for some products are holding prices down.
Some also noted a build-up in inventories due to anticipated industrial action. Sales and exports were particularly strong for food processors during the month.
“The April performance featured strong growth in exports and local sales of food and beverages manufacturing, building materials, specialist machinery and equipment and specialist chemicals,” said Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox.
“Resurgent output and prices in our agricultural and mining sectors are having a positive effect on demand for a range of locally produced manufactured equipment. This surge is occurring despite the closure of the automotive assembly sector and recent disruptions in some locations due to Cyclone Debbie.”