Pakistan’s cement dispatches rise 16% in January

Pakistan’s cement factories recorded a growth of 16.3 per cent in cement dispatches during January 2021 when total cement dispatches reached at 4.73Mt against 4.07Mt in the same month of last fiscal year, says data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA).

Out of the total dispatches, local cement shipments increased to 4.03Mt compared to 3.26Mt in January 2020, depicting a growth of 23.7 per cent. Whereas exports dropped by 14.1 per cent from 808,874t to 694,934t during this period.

During January 2021 northern factories dispatched 3.31Mt locally, a healthy increase of 23.5 per cent from 2.68Mt in January 2020, while southern mills dispatched 724,281t cement for local consumption, which was 24.6 per cent higher than 581,316t cement dispatched in January 2020.

Exports from the north increased by 25.4 per cent to 233,404t in January 2021 from 186,185t in January 2020, whereas the exports from the south fell by 25.9 per cent to 461,530t in January 2021 from 622,689t during the same month last year.

Consolidated dispatches in 7MFY21
In the first seven months of this fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 33.36Mt, reaching 15.8 per cent higher than the cement dispatches during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

The breakdown shows that local dispatches increased by 17 per cent in the July 2020-January 2021 period to 27.65Mt from 23.63Mt during July 2019-January 2220. Exports also increased from 5.186Mt in July 2019-January 2020 to 5.71Mt between July 2020-January 2021, showing a rise of 10.2 per cent.

Major challenge
A spokesman of APCMA said that the cement uptake had reached a historic high in the domestic market. Still, the increase in its main inputs is the major challenge for the industry. Coal rates are continually going up in the global market and the cement sector is facing significant cost increase. Moreover, diesel and petrol prices have increased for the fifth time in the past three months, which has increased transportation cost.

“There is a declining trend in exports in the last three months as the cement manufacturers are losing competitiveness due to high fuel and energy costs,” he said, adding that fuel and energy are the two significant inputs of the cement industry.