ISLAMABAD: Cement despatches declined by 24.19% in March, 2023. Total cement shipments during March this year were 3.795 million tons against 5.006 million tons dispatched during the same month in the last fiscal year.
According to a spokesperson of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the construction activities in the country have significantly decreased since the past few months. Not only is this creating an alarming situation for the industry, but also drying up employment opportunities for the skilled and unskilled labour attached to the construction sector. Continued political instability, currency devaluation and poor economic conditions are adversely affecting all industrial sectors, including cement.
According to the data released by APCMA, local cement despatches by the industry during the month of March 2023 were 3.356 million tons compared to 4.710 million tons in March 2022, showing a decline of 28.75%. Exports despatches increased by 48.46% as the volumes increased from 295,321 tons in March 2022 to 438,433 tons in March 2023.
In March 2023, north based cement mills dispatched 2.82 million tons of cement, indicating a decline of 28.22% against the 3.929 million tons dispatched in March 2022. South based mills dispatched 974,467 tons of cement during March 2023. This was 9.48% less compared to the despatches of 1.076 million tons during March 2022.
North based cement mills dispatched 2.72 million tons of cement in domestic markets during March 2023, showing a decline of 29.33% against the 3.849 million tons dispatched in March 2022. South based mills dispatched 636,465 tons of cement in local markets during March 2023. This was 26.14% less compared to the despatches of 861,742 tons during March 2022.
Exports from north based mills increased by 24.63% as the quantities increased from 80,584 tons in March 2022 to 100,431 tons in March 2023. Exports from the south also increased by 57.40% to 338,002 tons in March 2023, from 214,737 tons during the same month last year.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) were 33.6 million tons, which is 17.59% lower than 40.769 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Domestic despatches during this period were 30.564 million tons against 36.126 million tons during the same period last year, showing a reduction of 15.40%. Export despatches were also 34.62% less as the volumes reduced to 3.036 million tons during the first nine months of the current fiscal year compared to 4.643 million tons exports done during the same period of last fiscal year.
North based mills dispatched 25.047 million tons of cement domestically during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, showing a reduction of 16.33% in the cement despatches of 29.937 million tons during July-March 2022. Exports from the north increased by 14.56% percent to 778,437 tons during July-March 2023 compared to 679,481 tons exported during the same period last year. Total despatches by north based mills reduced by 15.65% to 25.826 million tons during the first nine months of the current financial year from 30.617 million tons during the same period of the last financial year.
Domestic despatches by south based mills during July-March 2023 were 5.517 million tons, showing a reduction of 10.86% over 6.189 million tons of cement dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year. Exports from the south declined by 43.05% to 2.257 tons during July-March 2023 compared to 3.964 million tons exported during the same period last year. Total despatches by south based mills reduced by 23.43% to 7.774 million tons during the first nine months of the current financial year from 10.152 million tons during the same period of the last financial year.
The Prime Minister of Pakistan has stated that negotiations are ongoing regarding the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) final condition. No further details were given about the nature of the condition or the progress of the negotiations. hopefully, after the negotiation the prices is reduced.