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Uptick in cement sales

KARACHI: Total cement sales — export and local despatches — posted a meagre growth of 1.67 per cent to 26.765 million tonnes during the first seven months of this fiscal year mainly due to reduction in government spending on infrastructure projects.

However, exports surged 50.47pc to 4.141m tonnes during the July-January period of 2018-19, from 2.775m tonnes in the corresponding period, showed data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association on Wednesday.

On a year-on-year basis, the overall cement sales witnessed a decline of 10.70pc to 3.646m tonnes in January against despatches of 4.083m tonnes in Jan 2018.

The industry exported 0.579m tonnes in January as against 0.347m tonnes in Jan 2018.

For the first time this fiscal year, the domestic consumption recorded a nominal decline in the Southern region, while the downslide in the Northern region of the country continued unabated. Uptake in North was only 2.355m tonnes last month against 3.018m tonnes consumed in Jan 2018. The consumption in the South slipped from 0.719m tonnes in Jan 2018 to 0.711m tonnes in January.

A look at the regional performance shows that mills located in the North suffered more than the mills located in the South. The domestic consumption of North-based mills declined by 8.43pc to 17.831m tonnes in the first seven months of this fiscal year from 19.473m tonnes in same period last year.

Published in Dawn, February 7th, 2019

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