Cement sales contracted 9.07% to 5.2 million tons in October 2021 against 5.74 million tons in the corresponding month of previous year.
According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Thursday, local cement dispatches were recorded at 4.6 million tons in October 2021, which were 5.29% lower than 4.9 million tons in October 2020.
Export of the commodity dropped sharply as shipments fell 30% to 611,844 tons in October 2021. Cement manufacturers had shipped 875,266 tons abroad in October 2020.
Last month, north-based mills sold 3.83 million tons of cement in the domestic market against 4.16 million tons in the same month of last year, a decline of 8%.
Cement mills based in southern region of the country supplied 771,755 tons to the local market in October 2021, which was 11.01% higher compared to 695,221 tons in October 2020.
Exports from the mills based in north nosedived 74% to 73,608 tons in October 2021 against 283,389 tons in October 2020.
Similarly, exports from the southern mills shrank 9% to 538,276 tons in October 2021. Mills in the southern region had shipped 591,877 tons during the same month of last year.
In the first four months (July-October) of current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic sales and exports) amounted to 18 million tons, lower by 6.68% than 19.3 million tons in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year.
Domestic offtake of the commodity grew 1.1% in the four-month period under review to 15.9 million tons against 15.7 million tons in the corresponding period of 2020.
On the other hand, exports plunged from 3.62 million tons in July-October 2020 to 2.16 million tons during July-October 2021, a drop of 40.4%.
North-based mills supplied 13.3 million tons of cement to domestic markets during the first four months of current fiscal year showing a decline of 2.3% compared to 13.63 million tons in July-October 2020.
During four month period under review, domestic dispatches by mills based in southern region of the country were recorded at 2.56 million tons showing a healthy increase of 23% over same period last year. During July-October 2020, local offtake by south-based mills amounted to 2.08 million tons.
A spokesman from All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) stated that persistent increase in input costs coupled with recent devaluation of rupee against the US dollar were major concerns for the industry.
“These factors are gravely affecting the cost of doing business in local as well as international markets,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 5th, 2021.
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