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March 3, 2021

Cement sales up, exports down in February

Business

March 3, 2021

LAHORE: Cement sales increased 6.1 percent year-on-year to 3.9 million tons in February, but exports dropped 18.2 percent to 616,030 tons, according to the industry’s data.

Overall, cement sales and exports stood at 4.5 million tons in February 2021 as against 4.4 million tons in the same month a year earlier, depicting around two percent growth.

Exports continued to decline during the last three months, according to All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA).

The industry’s spokesperson said there has been a downtrend in exports in the last three months as the cement manufacturers are losing competitiveness due to high fuel and energy costs.

The spokesperson said rising cost of electricity and coal led to increase cost of cement production, which is creating difficulties for the industry.

APCMA spokesperson said cement uptake has reached historic high in the domestic market, but the increase in its main inputs is the major challenge for the industry.

In February, north-based cement factories dispatched 3.2 million tons locally, showing an increase of 3.3 percent from 3.17 million tons a year earlier, while south-based mills dispatched 683,384 tons cement for local consumption, 21.5 percent higher than 562,501 tons.

Exports from north-based mills decreased 7.7 percent to 186,595 tons in February from 202,181 tons, whereas exports from south decreased 22.1 percent to 429,435 tons from 551,263 tons.

During the first eight months of this fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 37.9 million tons, 13.9 percent higher than 33.3 million tons cement during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

Local cement dispatches increased 15.5 percent during the first eight months to 31.6 million tons from 27.3 million tons during the same period of last fiscal year. Exports increased to 6.3 million tons from 5.9 million tons, showing a growth of 6.6 percent.

During the first eight months of the current fiscal year, north-based mills dispatched 26.8 million tons, 15.2 percent higher compared to 23.2 million tons. Exports from north were 1.6 million tons, showing a decline of 9.8 percent over exports of 1.8 million tons.

South-based mills dispatched 4.7 million tons in the domestic market during the July-February period, which was 16.7 percent higher than 4.11 million tons. Exports from south were 4.7 million tons registering an increase of 13.8 percent over exports of 4.13 million tons.