LAHORE - Domestic consumption of cement increased by a whopping 37.3 percent in January 2018 on year-on-year basis as the construction activities continued to lead the economy.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association (APCMA) on Friday, out of total cement dispatches of 4.08 million tons in Jan the domestic consumption was 3.737 million tons. Cement sector is quite hopeful that the present growth momentum in cement sector will continue and absorb the upcoming production capacities of around 15 million tons in next three to four years.

Cement consumption in North zone was 3.018 million tons and surged by 41.68 percent in January 2018 compared to same month last year, which led the domestic growth. This is the second time this fiscal that cement consumption in Northern zone of the country exceeded 3 million tons.

The consumption in the Southern zone of the country was also robust being 0.719 million tons compared with 0.591 million tons during the corresponding month of last fiscal. During the first seven months of current fiscal, cement industry dispatched 26.327 million tons while during seven months of last fiscal the total dispatches were 22.904 million tons.

The growth in domestic consumption of cement during the first seven months of this fiscal was 20.17 percent, however, overall increase in cement dispatches was restricted to 14.94 percent due to 16.25 percent decline in cement exports during the period under consideration.

Spokesman of APCMA regretted that the government is not heeding to the requests of the industry to take steps for increasing exports and eliminating the unlawful imports of cement.