The cement sector posted a sales growth of 1.98% to 4.577 million tons in February 2021 as compared to 4.489 million tons in February 2020.
According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement dispatches in February 2021 recorded a nominal increase compared to the same month of previous year.
Cement sales in the country stood at 3.961 million tons in February 2021 compared to 3.735 million tons in February 2020, depicting a growth of 6.06%. Exports continued to show a declining trend as witnessed in the past three months.
Total exports dropped 18.24% from 753,444 tons in February 2020 to 616,030 tons in February 2021. During February 2021, the north-based factories dispatched 3.28 million tons of cement to the domestic market, up 3.32% from 3.17 million tons in February 2020.
On the other hand, the south-based mills dispatched 683,384 tons of cement for local consumption, which was 21.49% higher than 562,501 tons dispatched in February 2020. Exports from northbased mills decreased 7.71% to 186,595 tons in February 2021 from 202,181 tons in February 2020, whereas exports from the south fell 22.10% to 429,435 tons in February 2021 from 551,263 tons in the same month of previous year.
During the first eight months of current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 37.95 million tons, up 13.92% than 33.31 million tons dispatched in the corresponding period of last fiscal year.
Local dispatches increased 15.51% to 31.62 million tons during the eight-month period of current fiscal year from 27.37 million tons in the same period of last fiscal year.
Exports increased from 5.94 million tons in the first eight months of previous fiscal year to 6.33 million tons in the same period of current fiscal year, showing a growth of 6.62%.
During the first eight months of current fiscal year, the north-based mills dispatched 26.82 million tons of cement for domestic consumption, which was 15.29% higher compared to the dispatches in the same period of last fiscal year when they stood at 23.26 million tons.
South-based mills dispatched 4.79 million tons to the domestic market in the first eight months of current fiscal year, which was 16.73% higher.
According to the APCMA, the rising cost of electricity and coal has led to an increase in the cost of cement production, which is becoming difficult for the industry to absorb.