KARACHI: The cement sector experienced the highest ever monthly growth of 44.39% for March 2021 due to an increase in domestic consumption and exports, dispatching 5.373 million tonnes against 3.722 million tonnes for the same month in the previous fiscal year.
According to the data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement despatches in March 2021 were 4.563 million tonnes showing a healthy increase of 41.96% compared to 3.214 million tonnes in March 2020. Exports also increased significantly by 59.80%, from 507,480 tonnes in March 2020 to 810,962 tonnes in March 2021.
In March 2021, the cement mills in North despatched 3.809 million tonnes of cement to local markets against 2.749 million tonnes in March 2020, registering an increase of 38.52%. South-based mills despatched 753,704 tonnes of cement in domestic markets, 62.28% higher than 464,440 tonnes of cement despatched in March 2020.
Exports from North based mills registered an enormous increase of 162.58% as the volumes increased from 106,759 tonnes in March 2020 to 280,330 tonnes in March 2021. The South increased by 32.42% to 530,632 tonnes in March 2021 from 400,721 tonnes during the same month last year.
During the first nine months of this fiscal year, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) were 43.325 million tonnes of 16.99% higher than 37.035 million tonnes of cement despatched during the corresponding period last fiscal year.
From July 20 to March 21, local despatches increased by 18.29% to 36.182 million tonnes from 30.588 million tonnes from July 19 to March 20. Exports increased from 6.447 million tonnes from July 19 to March 20 to 7.144 million tonnes during July 20 to March, 21 periods showing a growth of 10.80%.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, north-based mills despatched 30.629 million tonnes of cement for domestic consumption that was 17.75% higher than the dispatches during the same period last budgetary stood at 26.012 million tonnes. Exports from North were 1.911 million tonnes showing a decline of 0.22% over exports of 1.915 million tonnes during the same fiscal year.
South-based mills despatched 5.552 million tonnes in the domestic market during the first nine months of the current fiscal year, which was 21.36% higher than the 4.575 million tonnes despatched during the last fiscal year. The South exports were 5.232 million tonnes, registering a 15.46% increase over exports of 4.531 million tonnes during the same period the previous year.
However, as the sector is experinecing this upward trend, the cost of production is also increasing due to the rising rates of power and coal are consistently increasing. “The industry is not demanding any special favour but wants to be treated at par with five exporting sectors, and import levies on coal have to be rationalised as it is the main input of the cement sector,” the spokesperson to the APCMA said.