KARACHI: Total cement despatches (local sales and exports) grew by 6.51 per cent to 24.751 million tonnes in the first six months of this fiscal year.

This was led by a jump of 22pc in exports to 4.377m tonnes while domestic cement despatches during IHFY20 rose by 3.54pc to 20.373m tonnes.

The Northern mills despatched 17.406m tonnes to the local market during the period, up by 11.65pc year-on-year while their exports declined 3.85pc to 1.42m tonnes.

The Southern region recorded local despatches at 2.967m tonnes, depicting a plunge of 27.41pc over same period last year. Exports from the zone, on the other hand, soared by 41.87pc to 2.957m tonnes.

All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) Spokesperson said “the industry is sitting on a huge unutilised capacity as it will despatch just over 47m tonnes this year at this rate against an installed capacity of 59.65m tonnes.”

“This situation will not trigger any investment and expansion in the industry and employment in the sector will gradually decrease,” he said, urging the government to resume work on Public Sector Development Program (PSDP) and the announced housing projects to boost construction.

Published in Dawn, January 3rd, 2020