Lahore -  The capacity utilisation of the cement plants in the country has reached the record level of 94.65 percent during the first five months (July-Nov) of the current fiscal year of 2017-18 while its dispatches have increased by around 14 percent during the same period.

According to the latest data of November, 2017, the increase recorded in cement domestic consumption during this month was 9.89 percent, with overall growth of the sector standing at 5.16 percent.

In November 2017, the mills situated in northern part of the country dispatched 2.967 million tonnes of cement locally, which is 10.2 percent higher than 2.692 million tonnes local dispatches in the same month last year.

The local dispatches in the southern region rose by 8.4 percent from 0.578 million tonnes in November 2016 to 0.626 million tons in November 2017.

Exports from South based mills took a major hit as it went down by 45.4 percent from 0.129 million tonnes in November 2016 to 0.070 million tonnes in November 2017. Exports from Northern region also decreased by 8 percent to 0.278 million tonnes last month from 0.350 million tonnes in the same month last year.

“The cement industry is worried about the complacency shown by economic planners towards the cement sector. The cement sector has so far withstood the impact of decline in exports due to a robust growth in the domestic market. However, the current political uncertainty may impact domestic growth also,” said the spokesman of APCMA adding that the worries were compounded by the fact that more capacities were expected to be commissioned in next three years, starting from January 2018.

While all the previous issues raised by cement manufacturers in the last few months have remain unaddressed, increase in duties on coal has increased the cost of production, said the spokesman.