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LAHORE: Cement sector showed excellent growth of 49.86 percent during May 2021 when total cement dispatches were recorded at 3.947 million tons against 2.634 million tons dispatched during the same month of last fiscal.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, domestic cement dispatches during the month of May 2021 increased to 3.201 million tons from 2.271 million tons in May 2020, depicting a healthy increase of 40.95 percent.

Exports also massively increased by 105.56 percent, from 363,174 tons in May 2020 to 746,550 tons in May 2021.

During May 2021, the North based cement mills dispatched 2.713 million tons cement in local markets showing an increase of 35.55 percent over 2.001 million tons dispatches in May 2020. South based mills dispatched 487,311 tons cement in domestic markets during May 2021 registering a robust increase of 81.15% compared to the dispatches of 269,003 tons in May 2020.

Exports from North based mills, due to covid-19 issues, was just 7,520 tons in May 2020 showed healthy increase to 203,625 tons in May 2021. Exports from South based mills also increased by 52.66 percent to 542,925 tons in May 2021 from 355,654 tons during the same month last year. During the first eleven months of this fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 52.222 million tons which is 20.91 percent higher than 43.189 million tons of cement dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

During July 20 to May 21, local dispatches increased by 20.26 percent to 43.451 million tons from 36.13 million tons in the same period last year. Exports increased from 7.059 million tons during the first 11 months of the last fiscal to 8.771 million tons during July 20 to May 21, showing a growth of 24.25 percent.

During the first 11 months of the current fiscal year, north based mills dispatched 36.722 million tons of cement for domestic consumption that was 18.67 percent higher compared to the dispatches during the same period last fiscal that stood at 30.943 million tons. Exports from North were 2.365 million tons showing an increase of 22.89 percent over exports of 1.924 million tons during the same period of last fiscal year.

Local dispatches from South based mills were 6.729 million tons during the first eleven months of the current fiscal year which was 29.73 percent higher than 5.187 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. The exports from South recorded 6.406 million tons registering an increase of 24.76 percent over exports of 5.135 million tons during the same period last year.

Nevertheless, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) spokesman said that cement industry is subject to FED of Rs. 1500 per ton and GST of 17% of maximum retail price and these taxes calculate to around Rs. 170 per bag. Besides FED, industry also pays custom duty and taxes on machinery, spare parts imports and on import of coal and pet coke. Coal prices are showing significant upward trend as the C&F cost has increased from around US $ 60 per ton to around US$ 120 per ton during the current financial year. This has increased the cost of doing business as presently coal and pet coke are being used as fuel/raw material for various manufacturing concerns.

It appealed to the government to abolish the FED and reduce other duties and taxes in order to provide opportunity to the manufacturers to control their cost of production and further optimize/ expand their Plant that will in turn help generate more employment and revenues for the government.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021