Cement sector posts 40pc sales growth

ISLAMABAD: The cement sector posted a robust growth of 40.41 per cent in April 2021 as total sales reached 4.94 million tons against 3.52 million tons in the same month of previous year.

According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement offtake in April 2021 rose to 4.1 million tons against 3.27 million tons in April 2020, showing a healthy growth of 24.29pc.

Following a similar trend, exports increased by a significant 252pc, rising from 249,127 tons in April 2020 to 877,163 tons in April 2021.

Cement mills based in northern Pakistan sold 3.38 million tons in domestic markets, an increase of 15.33pc over 2.93 million tons sold in April 2020. Similarly, the mills based in southern Pakistan recorded 100pc growth in sales as they shipped 688,239 tons to the local market in April 2021. These mills had dispatched 342,594 tons in April 2020.

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Exports from the mills in northern part of the country registered a staggering 155fold increase as volumes soared from a meagre 1,609 tons in April 2020 to 250,072 tons in April 2021. Exports from south-based mills soared 153.35pc to 627,091 tons in April 2021 compared to shipments of 247,519 tons in the same month of last year.

In the first 10 months (Jul-Apr) of the ongoing fiscal year (10NFY21), total cement sales stood at 48.27 million tons, which were 19pc higher than 40.55 million tons sold in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year.

During the 10-month period, local offtake increased by 18.87pc, going up from 33.86 million tons in Jul-Apr FY20 to 40.25 million tons in Jul-Apr FY21.

Exports rose from 6.7 million tons in the first 10 months of previous fiscal year to 8 million tons in Jul-Apr FY21, showing a growth of 19.84pc. During the 10 months under review, the mills based in the northern region shipped 34 million tons of cement to the local market, up 17.51pc than 28.9 million tons in the same period of last year.

Exports from the northern region amounted to 2.2 million tons, showing a rise of 12.75pc over 1.92 million tons shipped abroad during the same period of last fiscal year.

Local sales from south-based mills rose 27pc to 6.24 million tons in the first 10 months of the current fiscal year. Mills in the southern region had sold 4.92 million tons in the corresponding period of previous fiscal year.

Exports of cement from southern Pakistan were recorded at 5.86 million tons, an increase of 22.69pc over 4.78 million tons in the same period of last year.

A spokesman of APCMA said that it is very good to see that cement exports have touched 8 million tonnes during the first ten months of current fiscal year and will likely cross 9 million tonnes by June. “Another point worth noting is that domestic despatches are increasing even in the month of Ramzan, when construction activities are usually slow,” he added.

However, despite this growth, he said the industry is operating in a very tough scenario due to continuous rise in the price of major inputs.

“We request the government to treat the cement sector at par with other exporting sectors and rationalise import levies on coal and the electricity tariff which contribute to the main costs of the sector,” he said.

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Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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