Help comes from export acceleration, from domestic markets.
A good news form the economic point of view is the cement sales increase in Pakistan. When its sales soared by a healthy 37.8 percent to 4.838 million tons in July 2020 from 3.512 million tons. It is in the same month of the previous year on the back of buoyancy in export and domestic markets. The new fiscal year has kicked off a positive note for the cement industry.
The strong growth comes in the backdrop of just 1.98 percent rise in cement sales. It was in the 2019-20 fiscal year which was entirely backed by exports. In fact, in the last fiscal year, domestic cement consumption recorded a decline of 0.94 percent.
The real estate in Pakistan is going to boom after the decrease in the COVID-19 cases. The property dealers in Pakistan are looking forward to launch new residential blocks. This will certainly increase the sales of cement in Pakistan.
Cement Sales Increase in Pakistan
Report by Cement Manufacturers
According to data reported by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association. The local cement off-take increased from 2,979 million tons in July 2019 by 32.67 percent to 3,953 million tons in July 2020. On the other hand, exports reported a more remarkable 66.14 percent rise. It is from 0.533 million tons in the same month last year, at 0.885 million tons.
As expected, the northern zone led overall sales growth on the strength of its domestic sector, which increased by over 38.86 percent to 3,435 million tons in July 2020 compared to 2,474 million tons in July last year.
Exports of Pakistan
However, the export trend in the northern zone was highly disappointing. As total exports from northern-based mills amounted to only 0.123 million tons. It was a decline of 46.93 percent compared to the previous year’s exports of 0.231 million tons.
The downturn came in the face of a trade stand-off with India and sluggish Afghan construction activity.
Meanwhile, southern-based mill performance-located near seaports-was quite the opposite. Such mills were only able to dispatch 0.518 million tons of cement to the domestic market in July 2020, reporting a modest rise of 2.39 percent over last year’s sales of 0.506 million tons.
South-based mills, however, compensated for the sluggish expansion of domestic sales, with an annual 152.9 percent rise in exports to 0.762 million tons, which was 1.5 times the local sales in the southern part of the country.
Cement sales from the south stood at just 0,301 million tons in July last year.
Official Statement of Cement Manufacturers Association
A spokesman for APCMA said last month’s rise in cement dispatches gave the industry a much-needed boost after a disappointing past fiscal year. The spokesman added that rising fuel and energy prices significantly affected freight costs and total production costs.
“The government needs to concentrate on infrastructure development projects and launch housing schemes to improve construction activities so that employment and production can be safeguarded in the cement and related industries,” he added.
Story Published in The Express Tribune, August 5th, 2020