Pakistan Cement dispatches declined 16.58 percent to 3.95 million tonnes in January 2022 against 4.73 million tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal, mainly due to harsh weather in hilly areas that affected construction and transportation activities.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Wednesday, local cement sales in January 2022 were 3.4 million tonnes compared to 4.04 million tonnes in January 2021, down 15.87 percent. Exports suffered a massive decline of 20.71 percent as volumes reduced from 694,934 tonnes in January 2021 to 551,006 tons in January 2022.
In January 2022, cement factories based up north sold 2.707 million tonnes in the domestic markets, showing a reduction of 18.29 percent against 3.313 million tonnes in January 2021. South-based units dispatched 693,453 tonnes of cement in local markets during January 2022 that was 4.82 percent less compared to 728,568 tonnes sold in January 2021.
Exports from the north-based units nosedived 94.12 percent, as quantities reduced from 233,404 tonnes in January 2021 to 13,727 tonnes in January 2022. However, the exports from down south increased 16.41 percent to 537,279 tonnes in January 2022 against 461,530 tonnes during the same month last year. During the first seven months of the current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 31.4 million tonnes that calculates to 5.89 percent lower than 33.37 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Further analysis indicated that domestic uptake of the commodity reduced by 0.69 percent to 27.465 million tonnes from 27.657 million tonnes during July-January 2021, whereas exports during the same period declined by 31.04 percent to 3.94 million tonnes from 5.71 million tonnes during July-January 2021.
North-based mills dispatched 22.87 million tonnes of cement domestically during the first seven months of the current fiscal, showing a reduction of 2.85 percent compared to 23.54 million tonnes during July-January 2021. Exports from the north declined by 61.39 percent to 557,615 tonnes during July-January 2022 compared with 1.444 million tonnes exported during the same period last year.
Domestic dispatches by the south-based units during July-January 2022 were 4.59 million tonnes, showing an increase of 11.67 percent over 4.115 million tonnes of cement dispatched during the same period of the last fiscal year. There was however a substantial decline of around 20.78 percent in exports from the south zone, as the volumes reduced to 3.384 million tonnes in the first seven months of the current fiscal year from 4.272 million tonnes in the corresponding period last fiscal.
A spokesman of the APCMA said the decline in cement dispatches was hitting the industry badly, while the industry was already under pressure due to sharp increase in the cost of production that includes international coal prices, high power tariff and transportation cost. He said that slowdown in the construction activities for public sector development projects amid unfavourable weather conditions were some of the major causes of lower cement consumption.