LAHORE: Cement sales went up 1.15 percent in January 2023, registering slight recovery after continuous decline during the first half of the current fiscal year, with industry anticipating a bigger...
LAHORE: Cement sales went up 1.15 percent in January 2023, registering slight recovery after continuous decline during the first half of the current fiscal year, with industry anticipating a bigger dip on account of political, forex crisis.
Total January sales were 4.005 million tonnes against 3.960 million tonnes sold during the same month of the last fiscal year.
However, the industry anticipated another big dip due to the ongoing political turmoil, foreign exchange crisis and the non-availability of dollars that has led commercial banks to refuse opening of credit letters for raw material imports.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), industry sold 3.587 million tonnes cement domestically compared to 3.409 million tonnes in January 2022, up 5.24 percent.
However, exports declined 24.13 percent as volumes reduced from 551,006 tonnes in January 2022 to 418,067 tonnes in January 2023.
Total sales by north-based cement factories stood at 2.892 million tonnes, up 6.08 percent against 2.726 million tonnes in January 2022, whereas units down south sold 1.113 million tonnes, down 9.74 percent compared to 1.234 million tonnes during January 2022.
Domestic sales volumes of units up north clocked in at 2.857 million tonnes in January 2023, up 5.32 percent against 2.712 million tonnes in January 2022. South-based mills sold 730,703 tonnes in local markets, up 4.92 percent more compared to the dispatches of 696,468 during January 2022.
Exports from units up north went up 156.54 percent as volumes increased from 13,727 tonnes in January 2022 to 35,215 tonnes in January 2023. On the other hand, exports from the south declined 28.74 percent to 382,852 tonnes in January 2023 from 537,279 tonnes during the same month last year.
During the first seven months of the current fiscal, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 25.769 million tonnes, 17.97 percent lower than 31.416 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
Domestic dispatches during this period were 23.617 million tonnes against 27.474 million tonnes during the same period last year, showing a reduction of 14.04 percent. The export dispatches were also 45.40 percent less as the volumes reduced to 2.152 million tonnes during the first seven months of the current fiscal compared to 3.942 million tonnes exported during the same period last fiscal.
North-based Mills dispatched 19.378 million tonnes cement domestically during the first seven months of the current fiscal, down 15.29 percent from 22.875 million tonnes in the same period last fiscal.
Exports from the north increased 9.98 percent to 613,289 tonnes during July-January period compared with 557,615 tonnes exported during the same period last year.
Total dispatches by north-based units reduced by 14.69 percent to 19.992 million tonnes in 7MFY23 from 23.433 million tonnes during the same period last fiscal.
APCMA spokesman said that continuous political instability since the last many months has had a serious impact on the economy. “The industry is facing several challenges due to non-opening of letters of credit for coal, spare parts and other consumable items required for the smooth running of the plants,” he said. Government should ensure timely establishment and opening of letters of credit to avoid any supply chain disruptions and closure of factories.