KARACHI: Overall cement despatches dropped by 21.3 per cent to 4.508 million tonnes in November from 5.735m tonnes in October. However, the year-on-year increase was 4.19pc from November 2019.
Data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Friday showed that local sales plunged by 23pc whereas exports fell 12pc on a month-on-month basis.
In September the total sales of the commodity stood at 5.225m tonnes. However, during the first five months of FY21 the cumulative cement offtake increased by 16.61 per cent to 23.839 million tonnes from 20.444m tonnes in same period last year.
Out of total sales, domestic despatches rose by 15.55pc from 16.837m tonnes to 19.456m tonnes, while exports grew by 21.54pc from 3.607 million tons to 4.384 million tons due to rising construction activities, APCMA data showed.
In the North (Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa), domestic sales posted a growth of 16pc in the first five months to 16.757m tonnes from 14.442m tonnes during the same period last year. Exports from Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa fell by 10.34pc in fmFY21 to 1.087m tonnes from 1.213m tonnes during 5MFY20.
In the South (Sindh and Balochistan), domestic growth went up by 12.66pc to 2.698m tonnes from 2.395m tonnes in the same period last fiscal. Exports from the southern region recorded massive jump of 38pc in the first five months FY21 to 3.296m tonnes from 2.394m tonnes a year ago.
Local uptake of cement in November this year increased by 6.29pc to 3.742m tonnes from 3.521m tonnes the same month in 2019, while exports plunged by 5pc to 766,273 tonnes from 806,521 tonnes in the same month last year. This is the first instance of decreasing exports during this fiscal which otherwise was on the rising trend, the APCMA said without giving any reason.
In the North region, domestic cement despatches inched up by 4.79pc to 3.129m tonnes during Nov 2020 from 2.986m tonnes a year ago. Exports witnessed a steep fall of 31pc to 0.182m tonnes in November 2020 from 0.263m tonnes a year ago.
In the South region, domestic cement despatches grew by 14.66pc to 613,113 tonnes from 534,720 tonnes in November 2019. Exports rose by 7.51pc to 584,182 tonnes in Nov this year from 543,361 tonnes last year.
Published in Dawn, December 5th, 2020