Lahore: Cement sector posted the highest ever monthly growth of 44.39% in March 2021 due to massive increase in domestic consumption as well as exports.
Total Cement dispatches during March 2021 were 5.373 million tons against 3.722 million tons dispatched 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 March 2021 were 4.563 million tons showing a healthy increase of 41.96% compared to 3.214 million tons in March 2020.
Exports also increased significantly by 59.80%, from 507,480 tons in March 2020 to 810,962 tons in March 2021.
During March 2021, the cement mills in North dispatched 3.809 million tons cement to local markets against 2.749 million tons in March 2020 registering an increase of 38.52%.
South based mills dispatched 753,704 tons cement in domestic markets which was 62.28% higher than 464,440 tons’ cement dispatched in March 2020.
Exports from North based mills registered an enormous increase of 162.58% as the volumes increased from 106,759 tons in March 2020 to 280,330 tons in March 2021. Exports from South increased by 32.42% to 530,632 tons in March 2021 from 400,721 tons during the same month last year.
During the first nine months of this fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 43.325 million tons that was 16.99% higher than 37.035 million tons of cement dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
During July 20 to March, 21, local dispatches increased by 18.29% to 36.182 million tons from 30.588 million tons during July 19 to March, 20. Exports increased from 6.447 million tons during July 19 to March, 20 to 7.144 million tons during July 20 to March, 21 period showing a growth of 10.80%.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, north based mills dispatched 30.629 million tons of cement for domestic consumption that was 17.75% higher compared to the dispatches during the same period last fiscal that stood at 26.012 million tons.
Exports from North were 1.911 million tons showing a decline of 0.22% over exports of 1.915 million tons during the same period of last fiscal year.
South based mills dispatched 5.552 million tons in the domestic market during the first nine months of the current fiscal year which was 21.36% higher than 4.575 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. The exports from South were 5.232 million tons registering an increase of 15.46% over exports of 4.531 million tons during the same period last year.
However, this growth was accompanied with some worrisome signs as the rates of power and coal are consistently increasing. Cement being an energy intensive product, the industry is finding it hard to operate due to continuous rise in major input cost elements.
“The industry is not demanding any special favor but wants to be treated at par with five exporting sectors and import levies on coal have to be rationalized as it is the main input of the cement sector,” added the spokesman.