Lahore - The cement sales in south region of the country have increased by 21 percent from 3.38 million tons in first six months of FY17-18 (Jul-Dec) to 4.08 million tons this fiscal.

However, the local sales in the north have declined by 5.95 percent in the first six months of this fiscal from 16.45 million tons in July-Dec 2017 to 15.47 million tons in July-Dec 2018. The decline in domestic cement consumption is more pronounced in the northern region of the country where most of the capacities are installed.

According to the data issued by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) here on Friday, the overall domestic cement dispatches have decreased in first six months of FY18-19 by 1.41 percent as compared to same period last year which is the first ever such instance in last nine years.

In December 2018, the cement industry dispatched 3.865 million tons of cement that was 3.63 percent more than 3.729 million tons of cement dispatched during the corresponding month of last year. Total domestic dispatches in the month fell from 3.403 million tons in December 2017 to 3.274 million tons last month, depicting a decrease of 3.77 percent.

The APCMA spokesperson observed that domestic sales accounted for over 19.557 million tons of the total cement sales of 23.11 million tons in the first six months of this fiscal. This is the reason when domestic cement sales decline the manufacturers, who have installed production capacity of over 54 million tons, get very concerned as their survival is linked to domestic consumption. He expressed the hope that the government would consider to start development projects to boost domestic cement consumption and employment in the construction sector.