The recent political turmoil in Pakistan has affected the production and export of cement in May 2022.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement dispatches by the industry during the month of May 2022 were 3.15 million tons compared to 3.2 million tons in May 2021, showing a reduction by 1.6 percent.
Moreover, exports dispatches suffered massive decline by 76.97 percent as the volumes reduced from 746,550 tons in May 2021 to 171,915 tons in May 2022.
In May 2022, North based cement mills dispatched 2.57 million tons cement in domestic markets showing a reduction of 5.16 percent against 2.71 million tons dispatches in May 2021. South based mills dispatched 576,385 tons cement in local markets during May 2022 that was 18.28 percent higher compared to the dispatches of 487,311 tons during May 2021.
Exports from North based mills massively declined by 64.42 percent as the quantities reduced from 203,625 tons in May 2021 to 72,450 tons in May 2022. Exports from South also reduced by 81.68 percent to 99,465 tons in May 2022 from 542,925 tons during the same month last year.
During the first eleven months of current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 47.62 million tons which is 8.8 percent lower than 52.22 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Further analysis indicate that domestic uptake reduced by 1.83 percent to 42.65 million tons from 43.45 million tons during July-May 2021 whereas exports during the same period declined by a massive 43.32 percent to 4.97 million tons from 8.77 million tons during July-May 2021.
North based mills dispatched 35.31 million tons cement domestically during the first eleven months of current fiscal year showing a reduction of 3.82 percent than cement dispatches of 36.72 million tons during July-May 2021. Exports from North declined by 65.6 percent to 813,522 tons during July- May 2022 compared with 2.36 million tons exported during the same period last year.
Domestic dispatches by South based mills during July- May 2022 were 7.33 million tons showing an increase of 9.07 percent over 6.72 million tons cement dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year. There was however substantial decline of around 35.1 percent in exports from south zone as the volumes reduced to 4.15 million tons in the first eleven months of current fiscal year from 6.4 million tons during corresponding period of last fiscal year.
Expressing grave concerns over the political uncertainty prevailing in the country, an official spokesperson of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that continuous downfall of rupee coupled with the skyrocketing prices of coal, electricity and petroleum products is badly affecting the business momentum. He emphasised that government should ensure political stability in the country and must give attention to industry concerns in the coming budget. “We hope that the government will provide some relief to the industry by reducing duties and taxes as well as focusing on PSDP and CPEC projects, which may help kick start the industry’s revival in next fiscal year,” he added.