LAHORE: Pakistan’s cement sector posted a 4.19pc year-on-year growth in November 2020 — the lowest monthly increase in this fiscal year (FY2020-21) after double-digit growth in September and October.
According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), total cement despatches in November 2020 were recorded at 4.508 million tonnes, as compared to 4.327 million tonnes in Nov 2019; 5.735 million tonnes in Oct 2020; and 5.225 million tonnes in Sept 2020.
During the month under review, local cement uptake increased 6.29pc to 3.742 million tonnes in Nov 2020 from 3.521 million tonnes last year, whereas exports witnessed a reduction of 4.99pc, from 806,521 tonnes in Nov 2019 to 766,273 tonnes.
November was the first month in FY21 to witness a decrease in exports.
In the northern region, domestic cement despatches inched up 4.79pc to 3.129 million tonnes in Nov 2020 from 2.986 million tonnes last year. On the other hand, exports from the region decreased 30.81pc to 0.182 million tonnes in Nov 2020 from 0.263 million tonnes last year.
In the southern region, domestic cement despatches increased 14.66pc to 613,113 tonnes from 534,720 tonnes in Nov 2019, whereas exports from the region also rose 7.51pc to 584,182 tonnes in Nov this year from 543,361 tonnes last year.
The overall cement despatches during the first five months (July-Nov) of FY21 increased by 16.61pc to 23.839 million tonnes from 20.444 million tonnes in July-Nov 2019.
During the five-month period under review, domestic despatches registered a healthy increase of 15.55pc, from 16.837 million tonnes to 19.456 million tonnes, while exports jumped 21.54pc, from 3.607 million tonnes to 4.384 million tonnes.
In the northern region, domestic growth increased 16.03pc, as consumption in 5MFY21 increased to 16.757 million tonnes from 14.442 million tonnes last year. Exports from the north posted a decline of 10.34pc, falling to 1.087 million tonnes from 1.213 million tonnes in Jul-Nov 2019.
Likewise, in the southern region, domestic growth increased 12.66pc as consumption in 5MFY21 increased to 2.698 million tonnes from 2.395 million tonnes last year. Exports from the region posted a growth of 37.70pc, from 2.394 million tonnes in Jul-Nov 2019 to 3.296 million tonnes.
As per the APCMA spokesman, “Bad publicity that the cement sector received as a result of coercive actions by the Competition Commission of Pakistan (CCP) even before the completion of investigation affected the industry’s performance this week.”
He urged the Ministry of Industries and Productions to take notice of CCP’s “irresponsible behaviour”.