Cement sales drop by 2.21pc in November amid domestic slump

December 03, 2023

LAHORE: The cement dispatches declined by 2.12 percent in November as the industry faced lower domestic demand and higher transportation costs due to the implementation of the axle load regime, data from the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) showed on Saturday.

The industry dispatched 3.924 million tonnes of cement in November, down from 4.009 million tonnes in the same month last year. Local cement dispatches fell by 15.53 percent to 3.262 million tonnes, while export dispatches surged by 348.29 percent to 662,374 tonnes.

Bags of cement can be seen stacked up in this undated image.—APP File

During the first five months of current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 19.816 million tons that is 10.81 percent higher than 17.883 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

A spokesman of APCMA said some sources have implemented axle load regime since November 1, 2023 without any consultation with stakeholders. "There will be massive increase in freight charges on cement, coal and other raw materials," the spokesman said.

"We would like to suggest to government to implement axle load in a phase wise manner over next two to three years. We also foresee major shortage of trucks which will disturb the supply to the markets. Exports will also be affected by this axle load regime."

In November 2023, North based cement mills dispatched 2.867 million tons cement showing a decline of 12.24 percent against 3.267 million tons dispatches in November 2022. South based mills dispatched 1.057 million tons cement during November 2023 that was 42.44percent more compared to the dispatches of 0.742 million tons during November 2022.

North based cement mills dispatched 2.723 million tons cement in domestic markets in November 2023 showing a decline of 13.91percent against 3.163 million tons dispatches in November 2022. South based mills dispatched 538,668 tons cement in local markets during November 2023 that was 22.85percent less compared to the dispatches of 698,225 during November 2022.

The exports from North based mills increased by 38.64percent as the quantities increased from 103,824 tons in November 2022 to 143,942 tons in November 2023. Exports from South also massively increased by 1080percent to 518,432 tons in November 2023 from 43,933 tons during the same month last year.

Domestic despatches during this period were 16.688 million tons against 16.354 million tons during same period last year showing an increase of 2.04percent. Export despatches were also 104.60percent more as the volumes increased to 3.129 million tons during the first five months of current fiscal year compared to 1.529 million tons exports done during same period of last fiscal year.

North based Mills dispatched 13.836 million tons cement domestically during the first five months of current fiscal year showing an increase of 2percent than cement dispatches of 13.566 million tons during July-November 2022. Exports from North increased by 32.76percent to 695,206 tons during July-November 2023 compared with 523,647 tons exported during the same period last year. Total dispatches by North based Mills increased by 3.14percent to 14.532 million tons during first five months of current financial year from 14.089 million tons during same period of last financial year.

Domestic dispatches by South based Mills during July-November 2023 were 2.851 million tons showing an increase of 2.26percent over 2.788 million tons cement dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year. Exports from South also increased by 142.01percent to 2.433 million tons during July-November 2023 compared with 1.006 million tons exported during the same period last year. Total dispatches by South based Mills increased by 39.30percent to 5.284 million tons during first five months of current financial year from 3.794 million tons during same period of last financial year.