Special Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Cement dispatches declined by 9.07 percent in October 2021. Total Cement dispatches during October 2021 were 5.214 million tons against 5.735 million tons dispatched during the same month of last fiscal year, says a message received here Thursday.
According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), local cement dispatches by the industry during the month of October 2021 were 4.603 million tons compared to 4.859 million tons in October 2020, showing a reduction of 5.29 percent. Exports dispatches suffered massive decline by 30.09 percent as the volumes reduced from 875,266 tons in October 2020 to 611,884 tons in October 2021.
In October 2021, North based cement mills dispatched 3.831 million tons cement in domestic markets showing a decline of 8.01 percent against 4.164 million tons dispatches in October 2020. The South based mills dispatched 771,755 tons cement in local markets during October 2021 that was 11.01 percent higher compared to the dispatches of 695,221 tons during October 2020.
Exports from North based mills massively declined by 74.03 percent as the quantities reduced from 283,389 tons in October 2020 to 73,608 tons in October 2021. Exports from the South also decreased by 9.06 percent to 538,276 tons in October 2021 from 591,877 tons during the same month last year.
During the first four months of current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 18.039 million tons that calculates to 6.68 percent lower than 19.331 million tons dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Further analysis indicate that domestic uptake of the commodity slightly increased by 1.1 percent to 15.882 million tons from 15.713 million tons during July-October 2020 whereas exports during the same period declined by a massive 40.4 percent to 2.157 million tons from 3.617 million tons during July-October 2020.
North based Mills dispatched 13.314 million tons cement domestically during the first four months of current fiscal year showing a decline of 2.3 percent than cement dispatches of 13.627 million tons during July-October 2020. Exports from North declined by 49.06 percent to 461,275 tons during July-October2021 compared with 905,575 tons exported during the same period last year.
Domestic dispatches by South based Mills during July-October2021 were 2.56 million tons showing healthy increase of 23 percent over 2.08 million tons cement dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year. There was however massive decline of around 37.45 percent in exports from south zone as the volumes reduced to 1.696 million tons in the first four months of current fiscal year from 2.712 million tons during corresponding period of last fiscal year.
A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that continuous increase in input costs coupled with recent hike in Rupee to USD parity are major concerns for the industry. These price escalations are seriously affecting the cost of doing business in local as well as international markets. He appealed that the government planners should take notice of declining exports and should support industry to compete in the international markets.