The cement sector posted growth during September of this year, as the total dispatches increased by 11.51% when compared with the corresponding period of last year. With both local consumption and exports increasing in double digits.
The Cement industry sold over 4.270 million tonnes of cement in September 2019 compared to 3.829 million tonnes sold in September 2018.
Domestic consumption reached 3.472 million tonnes this September while it was 3.114 million tonnes during the same month last year. Exports in the month also increased to 0.798 million tonnes last month as compared to 0.715 million tonnes in September 2018, an increase of 11.66%.
The first quarter of the fiscal year (Jul-Sep 2019-2020)
During the first quarter of this fiscal 1QFY20, the country's total cement dispatches went up by 2.56% to 11.133 million tonnes as compared with the first quarter of last fiscal when cement dispatches were 10.855 million tonnes. This comes to an increase of 2.56% in total dispatches.
The local dispatches in July-Sep 2019 were almost the same as the previous period, specifically, they went up by 9.116 million tonnes from 9.063 million tonnes in July-September 2018.
Exports however registered a healthy increase of 12.54% as they increased to 2.017 million tonnes in the first quarter of this fiscal from 1.792 million tonnes in the same period last year.
A major change that was seen during the current fiscal year was the consumption in the Northern region of the country, which has started rising and in September 2019 the local consumption was increased by 22.4 % from 2.473 million tons in September 2018 to 3.027 million tonnes last month.
The Southern region that was buoyant last fiscal remained subdued in September 2019 with 0.446 million tonnes of local dispatches as compared to 0.641 million tonnes in September 2018, showing a decline of 30.48%.
A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) while appreciating the revival of cement consumption in the Northern part of the country has expressed concern at the steep decline in uptake of cement in the Southern region.
He said the lopsided consumption pattern has benefitted the plants located in the Northern region while those operating in the South have entered the red zone as 32.10 % decline in uptake is extremely high and alarming during the first quarter of this fiscal.
The government should start the work on announced housing projects that will have a positive impact on the uptake of construction materials including cement and create jobs for skilled and unskilled labor, he added.
Source; Pro Pakistani