Pakistan’s cement sector posted growth of 16.28 percent in January 2021 as compared to January 2020.
According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the total cement sales during January 2021 reached 4.73 million tons compared to 4.07 million tons during the same month of the last fiscal year.
The local cement sales witnessed an uptick of 23.67 percent in January 2021 to 4.03 million tons as compared to 3.26 million tons in January 2020. However, the exports dropped by 14.09 percent from 808,874 tons in January 2020 to 694,934 tons in January 2021.
In January 2021, the cement sales from the factories in the north had a marked increase of 23.48 percent to 3.31 million tons of cement locally as compared to 2.68 million tons in January 2020. The southern mills sold 724,281 tons of cement for local consumption, which was 24.59 percent higher than 581,316 tons of cement despatched in January 2020.
The exports from the northern mills increased by 25.36 percent to 233,404 tons in January 2021 from 186,185 tons in January 2020, while the exports from the southern mills decreased by 25.88 percent to 461,530 tons in January 2021 from 622,689 tons during the same month last year.
In the first seven months of this fiscal year, the total cement sales (domestic and exports) increased by 15.77 percent to 33.36 million tons as compared to the corresponding period of the last fiscal year.
The local sales also grew by 16.98 percent in the period from July 2020 to January 2021 to 27.65 million tons from 23.63 million tons between July 2019 and January 2020. The exports also increased from 5.186 million tons between July 2019 and January 2020 to 5.71 million tons between July 2020 and January 2021, with a growth of 10.23 percent.
During the first seven months of the current fiscal year, the northern mills despatched 23.54 million tons of cement for domestic consumption that was 17.18 percent higher than the despatches during the same period in the last fiscal year that had stood at 20.09 million tons. The exports from the north were 1.44 million tons, showing a decline of 10.09 percent over the exports of 1.61 million tons during the same period in the last fiscal year.
The southern mills despatched 4.11 million tons to the domestic market during the first seven months of the current fiscal year which was 15.86 percent higher than the 3.54 million tons despatched during the corresponding period in the last fiscal year. The exports from the south were 4.27 million tons, and registered an increase of 19.35 percent over the exports of 3.57 million tons during the same period last year.
A spokesman for the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that although the cement uptake has reached a historic high in the domestic market, the increase in its main inputs is a major challenge for the industry. The coal rates are constantly increasing in the global market and the cement sector is facing a major increase in costs.
Moreover, the prices of diesel and petrol have increased for the fifth time in the past three months, resulting in an increase in transportation costs.
“There has been a declining trend in the exports in the last three months as the cement manufacturers are losing competitiveness due to the high fuel and energy costs,” he said, adding that fuel and energy are the two major inputs of the cement industry.