Cement sector posts mild growth of 1.15%

By Staff Reporter | The Express Tribune Feb 4, 2023

Pakistan’s cement industry posted a mild growth of 1.15% in January 2023 as total sales reached 4.005 million tonnes against 3.960 million tonnes in the same month of the previous year.

According to data released by the All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement dispatches in January 2023 rose to 3.587 million tonnes against 3.409 million tonnes in January 2022, showing a minor growth of 5.24%.

In a contrary trend, exports declined by a weighty 24.13% as volumes dropped from 551,006 tonnes in January 2022 to 418,067 tonnes in January 2023.

In the month under review, the cement mills based in Northern Pakistan sold 2.892 MT of cement, an increase of 6.08% against 2.726 MT sold in January 2022. These cement mills sold 2.857 MT of cement in domestic markets in January 2023, an increase of 5.32% against 2.712 MT dispatched in January 2022. Exports from the mills in the North registered an increase of 156.54% as the volume swelled to 35,215 tonnes in January 2023 from the earlier 13,727 tonnes recorded in January 2022.

South based mills recorded 1.113 MT in the sale of cement in January 2023, 9.74% less than the dispatches of 1.234 million tonnes last year. These mills recorded a 4.92% growth, dispatching 730,703 tonnes of cement to the local markets in January 2023, while having dispatched only 696,468 MT in January 2022. Exports from the South, however, posted a significant decline of 28.74%, falling to 382,852 tonnes in January 2023 from 537,279 tonnes last year.

During the first seven months of the current fiscal year, total cement sales (domestic and exports) were 25.769 MT, 17.97% lower than 31.416 MT sold last year.

A spokesperson from APCMA attributed the negative growth to persistent political instability. He mentioned that the industry was facing several challenges due to the non-opening of letters of credit (LC). He urged the government to ensure that LCs are opened on a timely basis to avoid any supply disruptions and closure of factories.

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