LAHORE - Domestic cement consumption bounced back in September after two months of lackluster growth registering a double digit increase compared with domestic consumption in the same month of last year.

According to the data of the APCMA released on Tuesday, the cement industry dispatched 3.806 million tons of cement in September 2018 while the cement dispatches in September 2017 were 3.201 million tons. This was almost 19 percent higher than last year. In September 2018, the domestic cement dispatches in the Northern region were 2.450 million tons, increased by 3.45 percent against 2.369 million tons in September 2017 whereas, dispatches in the Southern region amounted to 0.641 million tons, increased by 48.81 percent in September 2018 against 0.431 million tons in the same month last year.

However the industry closed the first quarter of this fiscal on a moderate note. In the July-September 2018 period, cement mills dispatched 10.813 million tons of commodity that was only 4.48 percent higher than 10.349 million tons cement dispatched during the corresponding period of last year. This growth pales when compared with the high growth the industry maintained in past five years. The growth in the first quarter does not even match the increase in the production capacity of the industry in 2018. The north-based mills dispatched 7.151 million tons of cement during this period that was 4.94 percent less than the dispatches of 7.523 million tons during the same period last year.

Mills in South were in driving seat as the domestic consumption in the first quarter increased by 21.51 percent to 1.870 million tons from 1.539 million tons during the same period last year. Exports also increased from this region by a whopping 212.13 percent to 1.044 million tons from only 0.334 million tons during July-Sep 2017.