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LAHORE: Cement despatches continued to decline for the consecutive fourth month as total despatches during the month of October 2022 were registered at 4.252 million tons against 5.215 million tons despatched during the same month of last fiscal showing a decline by 18.46 percent.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, local cement despatches by the industry during the month of October 2022 were 3.89 million tons compared to 4.6 million tons in October 2021, showing a decline of 15.5 percent. Exports despatches also declined by massive 40.73 percent as the volumes reduced from 611,378 tons in October 2021 to 362,350 tons in October 2022.

In October 2022, North based cement mills despatched 3.27 million tons cement showing a decline of 16.15 percent against 3.9 million tons despatches in October 2021. South based mills despatched 978,166 tons cement during October 2022 that was 25.33 percent less compared to the despatches of 1.31 million tons during October 2021.

North based cement mills despatched 3.14 million tons cement in domestic markets in October 2022 showing a decline of 17.97 percent against 3.83 million tons despatches in October 2021. South based mills despatched 746,927 tons cement in local markets during October 2022 that was 3.22 percent less compared to the despatches of 771,755 tons during October 2021.

Exports from North based mills increased by 79.35 percent as the quantities increased from 73,102 tons in October 2021 to 131,111 tons in October 2022. Exports from South based mills reduced by 57.04 percent to 231,239 tons in October 2022 from 538,276 tons during the same month last year.

During the first four months of current fiscal year, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) were 13.87 million tons that is 23.1 percent lower than 18.04 million tons despatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Domestic despatches during this period were 12.49 million tons against 15.88 million tons during same period last year showing a reduction of 21.35 percent. Export despatches were also 35.96 percent less as the volumes reduced to 1.38 million tons during the first four months of current fiscal year compared to 2.15 million tons exports done during same period of last fiscal year.

North based Mills despatched 10.4 million tons cement domestically during the first four months of current fiscal year showing a reduction of 21.88 percent than cement despatches of 13.31 million tons during July-October 2021.

Exports from North based mills declined by 8.89 percent to 419,283 tons during July-October 2022 compared with 460,769 tons exported during the same period last year. Total despatches by North based Mills reduced by 21.45 percent to 10.82 million tons during first four months of current financial year from 13.77 million tons during same period of last financial year.

Domestic despatches by South based Mills during July-October 2022 were 2.08 million tons showing reduction of 18.59 percent over 2.56 million tons cement despatched during the same period of last fiscal year. Exports from South declined by 43.32 percent to 961,581 tons during July-October 2022 compared with 1.69 million tons exported during the same period last year. Total despatches by South based Mills reduced by 28.43 percent to 3.05 million tons during first four months of current financial year from 4.26 million tons during same period of last financial year.

A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association expressed grave concerns over the continuous decline in cement demand and the rising input costs. He emphasized that government should devise industry friendly policies so that our product is competitive and we can regain our momentum in international markets. He was optimistic that the current visit of Prime Minster to China is very important in order to revive the CPEC projects and to boost cement demand. The government should also speed-up the rehabilitation works in flood affected areas, so that the difficulties of people are reduced before the coming winter season, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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