KARACHI: The overall cement despatches (domestic and export) declined by 19.22 per cent to 3.259m tonnes in February as against 4.035m tonnes in the same month last year due to few working days and holidays for general elections.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement sales during February were 2.863m tonnes as compared to 3.590m tonnes in February 2023, down by 20.33pc. Export despatches also fell by 11pc to 395,935 tonnes from 444,962 tonnes in February 2023.

Fahad Hussain Khan of Topline Securities attributed the drop in local cement sales to fewer working days compared to January followed by a slowdown in construction activities which usually get thin for a few days before and after the general elections.

He said exports in February shrank due to a fall in prices, making foreign sales economically unfeasible. The manufacturers are also facing issues in transporting cement due to the axle load regime.

The average retail price of cement in February rose by Rs6 per 50kg bag to Rs1,195 in the southern region followed by Rs9 hike to Rs1,245 in the northern region, he added.

During 8MFY24, domestic cement sales came down by 4pc to 26.059m tonnes from 27.207m tonnes in the same period last year.

Export despatches, however, showed a healthy growth of 73pc to 4.496mn tonnes in 8MFY24 from 2.597m tonnes in the same period last year.

As a result, total cement sales (domestic and export) rose by 2.52pc to 30.555m tonnes versus 29.805m tonnes 8MFY23.

The APCMA spokesman, in a statement, said the industry is very hopeful that the new government will frame industry-friendly policies and address its grave issues on priority.

He urged the new government to start pending public sector development projects to provide relief to the construction industry and hundreds of thousands of skilled and unskilled labour associated with the sector.

Published in Dawn, March 5th, 2024

Follow Dawn Business on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook for insights on business, finance and tech from Pakistan and across the world.

Opinion

Editorial

Iran’s counterstrike
Updated 15 Apr, 2024

Iran’s counterstrike

Israel, by attacking Iran’s diplomatic facilities and violating Syrian airspace, is largely responsible for this dangerous situation.
Opposition alliance
15 Apr, 2024

Opposition alliance

AFTER the customary Ramazan interlude, political activity has resumed as usual. A ‘grand’ opposition alliance ...
On the margins
15 Apr, 2024

On the margins

IT appears that we are bent upon taking the majoritarian path. Thus, the promise of respect and equality for the...
Noshki killings
Updated 14 Apr, 2024

Noshki killings

It must be asked why Baloch separatists continue to target civilians as well as security men despite large deployment.
Upholding the law
14 Apr, 2024

Upholding the law

THE recent discord in Bahawalnagar offers a chance to reflect on the sanctity of the law and its enforcement across...
Tragic travels
14 Apr, 2024

Tragic travels

FOR those embarking on road and boat journeys, the probability of fatal accidents has seen a steady rise. The recent...