LAHORE       -     The cement sector has reported 9.19 percent increase in cement dispatches in October 2019, dispatching 4.984 million tons, an all-time record for a month as compared to 4.564 million tons in October 2018. As per the data compiled by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association (APCMA), the cement dispatches increased in September 2019 after negative growth in the first two months of the fiscal and the positive trend continued in October 2019. North zone registered an increase of 15.86 percent in local dispatches in October 2019 with 3.605 million tons dispatches as compared to 3.111 million tons in October last year.

Local cement dispatches from Northern part of the country alone were higher than the total cement dispatches in any of the first two months of this fiscal. The sour point, however, is the domestic cement uptake in the Southern region remained low in October 2019, dispatching just 0.591 million tons, down by an alarming 29.41 percent from 0.837 million tons in October 2018.

The exports continued the growth trend with over 27.95 percent increase from 0.616 million tons in October 2018 to 0.788 million tons in October 2019. The growth in export was exclusively executed from the Southern region which rose by 48.75 percent from 0.352 million tons in October 2018 to 0.591 million tons last month; whereas exports from North grew nominally from 0.264 million tons in October last year to 0.265 million tons in October 2019.

In the first four months of this fiscal, cement manufacturers dispatched 16.117 million tons of cement, 4.53 percent higher than 15.419 million tons dispatches during the same period last year. The local dispatches were 13.312 million tons in the said period this year, 2.3 percent higher than 13.011 million tons local dispatches in the first four months of FY 2018-19. The mills situated in Northern part of the country dispatched 11.451 million tons to the domestic market, 11.14 percent higher than the domestic dispatches of 10.304 million tons during corresponding period last year. The South zone dispatched 1.861 million tons of cement for domestic market in the July-October 2019 period that was 31.27 percent less than 2.707 million tons dispatched during the same period last year.

The exports increased by 16.48 percent in the period of July-October 2019 to 2.804 million tons from 2.408 million tons during the same period last year. The export from North during the first four months of this fiscal were 0.954 million tons that was 5.64 percent less than 1.011 million tons during the same period last year. However, in view of total loss of Indian market, the decline is not that sharp. It is interesting to note that exports from the Southern region almost matched the domestic consumption as the region exported 1.851 million tons of cement during July-Oct 2019 period.