The cement sector registered a contraction of 4.2 percent in December 2021 as total sales stood at 4.59 million tons against 4.79 million tons in the same period of previous year.
According to the data released by the All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Tuesday, sales of the commodity in the local market came in at 4.1 million tons last month against 4.2 million tons in December 2020, a reduction of 2.45 percent.
On the other hand, cement exports declined 15.61 percent as volumes dipped from 637,511 tons in December 2020 to 538,002 tons in December 2021.
Cement mills based in northern parts of Pakistan supplied 3.38 million tons to the domestic market in the month under review, which was 2.71 percent lower against 3.47 million tons in December 2020.
On the flip side, the mills based in the southern region sold 680,126 tons locally during December 2021, depicting a decline of 1.15 percent against sales of 688,056 tons in the final month of 2020.
Foreign shipments from north-based mills plummeted 77.35 percent as volumes fell from 123,089 tons in December 2020 to 27,885 tons in December 2021.
Exports from south-based cement factories inched down 0.84 percent to 510,117 tons in December 2021 compared to 514,422 tons shipped abroad in the corresponding period of previous year.
During July-December of the ongoing fiscal year, total cement offtake (domestic and exports) stood at 27.5 million tons, which was 4.12 percent lower than 28.637 million tons in the same period of previous fiscal year.
Further analysis indicated that domestic uptake of the commodity increased slightly by 1.91 percent to 24.1 million tons from 23.615 million tons during July-December 2020.
Moving on to exports, foreign shipments during the same period declined by a substantial 32.47 percent to 3.4 million tons as opposed to 5.02 million tons recorded in July-December 2020.
North-based mills sold 20.2 million tons domestically in the first six months of current fiscal year, showing a slight reduction of 0.32 percent against 20.2 million tons dispatched during July-December 2020.
Domestic dispatches by south-based mills showed an increase of 15.23 percent during July-December 2021 as they stood at 3.9 million tons against 3.39 million tons during the same period of last fiscal year.
“The industry continues to face problems due to currency devaluation, increase in electricity tariff, rising cost of coal and high taxation,” said an APCMA spokesperson.