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Cement dispatches slump 19pc y/y in Feb as demand falters

Jawwad Rizvi
Tuesday, Mar 05, 2024

LAHORE: The cement industry saw a sharp drop of 19 percent in its dispatches in February 2024, as both domestic and export demand declined, data from the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) showed on Monday.

The industry dispatched 3.259 million tonnes of cement in February, down from 4.035 million tonnes in the same month last year, the APCMA data showed. Local cement dispatches fell 20.23 percent to 2.863 million tonnes, while export dispatches decreased 11.02 percent to 395,935 tonnes, the data showed.

In February 2024, North based cement mills dispatched 2.433 million tonnes of cement showing a decline of 19.26 percent compared to 3.014 million tonnes dispatched in February 2023. South based mills dispatched 826,085 tonnes of cement during February 2024 that was 19.08 percent less compared to the dispatches of 1.021 million tonnes during February 2023.

North based cement mills dispatched 2.338 million tonnes of cement in domestic markets in February 2024 showing a decline of 20.73 percent compared to 2.949 million tonnes dispatched in February 2023. South based mills dispatched 525,543 tonnes of cement in local markets during February 2024 that was 17.97 percent less compared to the dispatches of 640,645 tonnes during February 2023.

Exports from North based mills increased by 47.40 percent as the quantities increased from 64,717 tonnes in February 2023 to 95,393 tonnes in February 2024. Exports from South decreased by 20.96 percent to 300,542 tonnes in February 2024 from 380,245 tonnes during the same month last year. During the first eight months of the current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 30.555 million tonnes that were 2.52 percent higher than 29.805 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Domestic dispatches during this period were 26.059 million tonnes compared to 27.207 million tonnes during the same period last year showing a reduction of 4.22 percent.

Export dispatches showed a healthy increase by 73.10 percent as the volumes increased to 4.496 million tonnes during the first eight months of the current fiscal year compared to 2.597 million tonnes exported during the same period of last fiscal year.

North based Mills dispatched 21.495 million tonnes of cement domestically during the first eight months of the current fiscal year showing a reduction of 3.73 percent compared to cement dispatches of 22.327 million tonnes during July-February 2023.

Exports from North increased by 35.02 percent to 915,449 tonnes during July-February 2024 compared to 678,006 tonnes exported during the same period last year. Total dispatches by North based Mills reduced by 2.59 percent to 22.410 million tonnes during the first eight months of the current financial year from 23.005 million tonnes during the same period of last financial year.

Domestic dispatches by South based Mills during July-February 2024 were 4.564 million tonnes showing a reduction of 6.47 percent compared to 4.880 million tonnes of cement dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year.

Exports from South increased by a massive 86.55 percent to 3.580 million tonnes during July-February 2024 compared to 1.919 million tonnes exported during the same period last year. Total dispatches by South based Mills increased by 19.78 percent to 8.145 million tonnes during the first eight months of the current financial year from 6.799 million tonnes during the same period of last financial year.

A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that the industry was very hopeful that the new government would frame industry friendly policies and would address its grave issues on priority.

He urged the new government to start pending public sector development projects to provide relief to the construction industry and hundreds of thousands of skilled and unskilled labor associated with the sector.