LAHORE: Sliding trend in cement uptake continued for the third consecutive month as sales declined 29 percent in April 2022 mainly due to unfavourable business environment in the country.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the total cement dispatches during April 2022 were 3.52 million tonnes against 4.94 million tonnes during the same month of last fiscal year.
Local cement dispatches were 3.37 million tonnes in April 2022 compared to 4.06 million tonnes in April 2021, down 17.06 percent. Exports also suffered massive 82.15 percent decline, as volumes slid from 877,163 tonnes in April 2021 to 156,613 tonnes in April 2022.
North-based cement factories dispatched 2.8 million tonnes domestically, showing a reduction of 16.93 percent against 3.3 million tonnes dispatched in the same month last year. South-based mills dispatched 566,538 tonnes in the local markets, which was 17.68 percent less compared to 688,239 tonnes sold during April 2021.
Exports from the units up north dropped 75.22 percent as quantities reduced from 250,072 tonnes in April 2021 to 61,971 tonnes in April 2022. Similarly, exports from the south also reduced by 84.91 percent to 94.642 tonnes in April 2022 from 627,091 tonnes in the same month last year.
During the first ten months of the current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 44.3 million tonnes, down 8.22 percent from 48.27 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
Further analysis indicated that domestic uptake reduced by 1.84 percent to 39.5 million tonnes from 40.24 million tonnes during July-April 2021, whereas exports during the same period declined by a massive 40.19 percent to 4.8 million tonnes from 8.02 million tonnes during July-April 2021.
North-based mills dispatched 32.73 million tonnes cement domestically during the first ten months of the current fiscal year, sliding 3.73 percent from 34 million tonnes during July-April 2021.
Exports from the north declined by 65.71 percent to 741,072 tonnes during July- April 2022 compared with 2.16 million tonnes exported during the same period last year.
Domestic dispatches by the south-based mills during July-April 2022 were 6.77 million tonnes showing an increase of 8.46 percent over 6.24 million tonnes cement dispatched during the same period of the last fiscal year.
There was however substantial decline of around 30.79 percent in exports from the south zone as volumes reduced to 4.05 million tonnes in the first ten months of the current fiscal year, from 5.86 million tonnes during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
APCMA spokesman expressed serious concerns on continuous decline in industry dispatches due to the current unstable business and economic situation in the country. He emphasised that industry needs immediate relief from the government to reduce the cost of production and to increase its sales in domestic as well as international markets. “It is the need of the hour to address industry issues in the coming budget and to formulate policies to increase capacity utilisation,” he added.