KARACHI: Total cement despatches grew by four per cent to 19.253 million tonnes in the first five months of this fiscal year, from 18.513m tonnes in corresponding period last year.
Domestic despatches during 5MFY19 stood at 16.283m tonnes versus 16.434mn tonnes in same period the year before. Exports in this period surged 42pc to 2.969m tonnes, from 2.079mn tonnes.
The growth momentum maintained by the cement industry for five years has now come to halt due to stagnant domestic consumption despite exports picking up from country’s south due to the massive rupee devaluation. Northern region, which caters to Afghanistan and Indian markets, has not benefited from rupee depreciation because of political tensions with neighbours.
In November, cement industry despatched 3.899m tonnes, down 1pc over 3.941m tonnes during the corresponding month of last year. Total local despatches fell by 7pc to 3.337m tonnes, as against 3.593m tonnes in same month last year. However, exports soared by 61pc to 0.563mn tonnes this November, from 0.349m tonnes in corresponding period last year.
Spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association hoped that the government would speed up its housing scheme and other development projects to boost construction industry.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2018