KARACHI: The country’s total cement despatches during 1QFY20 went up by 2.56 per cent to 11.133 million tonnes.
Out of total sales, local despatches inched up to 9.116m tonnes from 9.063m tonnes while exports grew by 12.54pc to 2.017m tonnes from 1.792m in 1QFY19.
In September, total despatches increased by 11.51pc to 4.270m tonnes compared to the corresponding period last year following rise in both local consumption and exports.
During the month, domestic consumption reached 3.472m tonnes from 3.114m tonnes during the same month last year. Exports rose to 0.798m tonnes last month as compared to 0.715m tonnes in September 2018, up by 11.66pc.
Local consumption in the northern region during the month under review swelled by 22.4pc to 3.027m tonnes from 2.473m tonnes in September 2018. The southern region witnessed 30.48pc drop in despatches to 0.446m tonnes from 0.641m tonnes in September 2018.
A representative of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that cement consumption revived in northern region as against steep decline in southern region.
He said the lopsided consumption pattern has benefited plants located in the northern region while those operating in the south have entered the red zone in view of 32.10pc drop in uptake during the first quarter of this fiscal year.
He urged the government to start work on announced housing projects, which would boost sales of construction materials including cement besides creating jobs for skilled and unskilled labour.
He also asked the government to support the industry by minimising duties and taxes on cement sector in order to increase the overall domestic off take.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2019