Lahore: Cement sector posted growth of 16.28% in January 2021 as compared to January 2020 as total Cement dispatches during the month stood at 4.73 million tons against 4.07 million tons during the same month of last fiscal year.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement dispatches in the month of January 2021 increased to 4.03 million tons compared to 3.26 million tons in January 2020, depicting a growth of 23.67%. However, the exports dropped by 14.09% from 808,874 tons in January 2020 to 694,934 tons in January 2021.
During January 2021, the North based factories dispatched 3.31 million tons cement locally, a healthy increase of 23.48% from 2.68 million tons in January 2020, while the South based mills dispatched 724,281 tons cement for local consumption which was 24.59% higher than 581,316 tons’ cement dispatched in January 2020.
Exports from North based mills increased by 25.36% to 233,404 tons in January 2021 from 186,185 tons in January 2020 whereas the exports from South decreased by 25.88% to 461,530 tons in January 2021 from 622,689 tons during same month last year.
In the first seven months of this fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 33.36 million tons that was 15.77% higher than the cement dispatches during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
Local dispatches increased by 16.98% in July20 – Jan21 period to 27.65 million tons from 23.63 million tons in July19 – Jan20. Exports also increased from 5.186 million tons in July19 – Jan 20 to 5.71 million tons in July20 – Jan 2021 showing a growth of 10.23%.
During first seven months of current fiscal year, North based mills dispatched 23.54 million tons cement for domestic consumption that was 17.18% higher compared to the dispatches during same period last fiscal year that stood at 20.09 million tons.
Exports from North were 1.44 million tons showing decline of 10.09% over exports of 1.61 million tons during the same period of last fiscal year.
South based mills dispatched 4.11 million tons in the domestic market during the first seven months of current fiscal year which was 15.86% higher than 3.54 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
The exports from South were 4.27 million tons registering an increase of 19.35% over exports of 3.57 million tons during same period last year.
A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that the cement uptake has reached historic high in the domestic market but the increase in its main inputs is the major challenge for the industry. Coal rates are constantly going up in the global market and the cement sector is facing major cost increase. Moreover, the diesel and petrol prices have increased for the fifth time in the past three months that has resulted in an increase in transportation cost.
“There is a declining trend in exports in the last three months as the cement manufacturers are losing competitiveness due to high fuel and energy costs,” he said, adding that fuel and energy are the two major inputs of the cement industry.