Record cement offtake in October as construction activity picks up

KARACHI: Cement sector registered ‘highest-ever monthly despatches’ of 5.73 million tonnes in October compared to 4.98m tonnes in the same month last year, said a statement re­­leased by the All Pakistan Cement Manufac­turers’ Associa­tion showed on Wednesday.

The local cement uptake in October increased by 16 per cent to 4.86m tonnes from 4.19m tonnes in October 2019 while exports rose by 11.58pc to 875,266 tonnes from 784,433 tonnes in the same month last year.

In the north region, domestic cement despatches grew by 15.53pc to 4.16m tonnes during October from 3.61m tonnes in October 2019. Exports from north recorded 8.54pc growth to 0.28m tonnes in October from 0.26m tonnes in October 2019.

The southern region also registered positive growth with 18pc rise in domestic despatches to 695,221 tonnes from 590,690 tonnes in October 2019 followed by 13pc rise to 591,877 tonnes last month from 523,353 tonnes in October 2019.

In 4MFY21, total cement despatches surged by 20pc to 19.32m tonnes from 16.12m tonnes in the same period last fiscal year. Domestic sales registered a healthy jump of 18pc from 13.31m tonnes to 15.70m tonnes while exports swelled by 29.15pc from 2.8m tonnes to 3.62m tonnes.

In Sindh-Balochistan region, the domestic growth remained healthy at 12pc as consumption in the first four months increased from 1.860m tonnes to 2.085m tonnes this year. The exports from south posted a growth of 46.56pc to 2.712m tonnes from 1.85m tonnes during July-October 2019-2020.

Topline Securities analyst said local sales are booming due to initiation of construction work on dams and injection of more liquidity in the housing sector.

He said loans to the construction sector rose by 7.5pc MoM to Rs336bn in September.

Cement prices in the north region averaged at Rs550 per bag, up by Rs16 from September. Prices in the southern regions remained un­­­changed at Rs610-615 per bag, he added.

Source:  Dawn