After three months of stagnation, cement despatches surge 30pc in June

–Domestic uptake increases 19.6pc to 3.83m tonnes in June 2020, while exports surge 123pc to 0.78m tonnes 

–Overall cement consumption in FY20 inched up 2pc to 47.81m tonnes, mainly on the back of 19.8pc growth in exports

LAHORE: Cement despatches increased by 29.94pc to 4.623 million tonnes in June 2020 as compared to 3.557 million tonnes in June 2019, ending the fiscal year 2019-20 on a positive note after three consecutive months of stagnation.

According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the domestic cement uptake increased by 19.63pc to 3.835 million tonnes in June 2020 from 3.206 million tonnes in June 2019, while exports surged by 123.89pc, from 0.351 million tonnes in June 2019 to 0.787 million tonnes in June 2020.

Domestic cement consumption in the country’s northern region was recorded at 3.384 million tonnes in June 2020, as against 2.750 million tonnes in June 2019. However, exports from the region declined to 46,025 tonnes this June compared with 0.145 million tonnes last year. 

The scenario was completely opposite in the southern region, where domestic consumption declined to 0.451 million tonnes YoY in June 2020 from 0.455 million tonnes last year, but exports increased from 0.206 million tonnes in June 2019 to 0.742 million tonnes during the period under review.

The overall cement consumption during FY20 inched up by 1.98pc to 47.81 million tonnes, mainly on the back of 19.8pc growth in exports, which crossed the seven million tonne mark after a long time. Domestic consumption, however, contracted by almost one per cent, the first such decline in the last six years.

The southern cement units performed well in exports while the northern region mostly catered to local consumption. 

In FY20, the mills in the northern zone despatched 34.327 million cement to the local market, which was 6.07pc higher than the previous fiscal. However, it lost 22pc of the export market by exporting only 1.97 million tonnes of cement. 

It may be noted that the region had lost the Indian market due to protective policies of the Indian government, and the Afghan market due to a decline in construction activities in the landlocked country.

In the southern zone, the mills were badly hit by low consumption in the region as their despatches declined by 29.37pc to only 5.637 million tonnes. However, exports from the region registered a healthy increase of 46.47pc to 5.877 million tonnes. In fact, cement exports were higher than the local consumption perhaps for the first time in history.

“The higher uptake in June has given a hope that the new fiscal year would be better as a result of the incentives provided to the construction sector,” the APCMA spokesperson remarked.

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