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LAHORE: Cement despatches declined by 3.96% in Septmber 2023 as the total despatches during last month stood at 4.115 million tons against 4.284 million tons during the same month of last fiscal year.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association on Tuesday, local cement despatches by the industry during the month of September 2023 remained 3.544 million tons compared to 3.806 million tons in September 2022, showing a decline of 6.87%. Exports despatches increased by 19.24% as the volumes rose from 478,097 tons in September 2022 to 570,101 tons in September 2023.

In September 2023, North-based cement mills despatched 3.035 million tons cement showing a decline of 7.00% against 3.264 million tons despatches in September 2022. South-based mills despatched 1.079 million tons cement during September 2023 that was 5.79% more compared to the despatches of 1.020 million tons during Sep 2022.

North-based cement mills despatched 2.893 million tons cement in domestic markets in September 2023 showing a decline of 7.79% against 3.137 million tons despatches in September 2022. South-based mills despatched 651,287 tons cement in local markets during September 2023 that was 2.58% less compared to the despatches of 668,512 during September 2022.

Exports from North-based mills increased by 12.43% as the quantities increased from 126,502 tons in September 2022 to 142,226 tons in September 2023. Exports from South also increased by 21.70% to 427,875 tons in September 2023 from 351,595 tons during the same month last year.

During the first quarter of current fiscal year, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) were 11.873 million tons that is 23.40% more than 9.621 million tons despatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

Domestic despatches during this period were 10.122 million tons against 8.602 million tons during same period last year showing an increase of 17.67%. Export despatches were also 71.79% more as the volumes increased to 1.751 million tons during the first three months of current fiscal year compared to 1.019 million tons exports done during same period of last fiscal year.

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) spokesman mentioned that industry had immense potential to grab export markets provided the government extend relief in duties and taxes to curb the cost of production to make our product competitive in international markets.

Coal is a major cost element and its import duty, that is 5% at present, needs to be abolished. We are also seriously concerned with the rising power tariff and petroleum prices, he added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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