Cement despatches declined by 24.19% in Mar-2023. Total Cement despatches during Mar-2023 were 3.795 million tons against 5.006 million tons despatched during the same month of last fiscal year. According to the data released by the All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, local cement despatches by the industry during March 2023 were 3.356 million tons compared to 4.710 million tons in March 2022, showing a decline of 28.75%. Export despatches increased by 48.46% as the volumes increased from 295,321 tons in March 2022 to 438,433 tons in March 2023.
In March 2023, North-based cement mills despatched 2.82 million tons of cement, showing a decline of 28.22% against 3.929 million tons of despatches in March 2022. South-based mills despatched 974,467 tons of cement during March 2023, 9.48% less than the despatches of 1.076 million tons during March 2022.
North-based cement mills despatched 2.72 million tons of cement in domestic markets in March 2023, showing a decline of 29.33% against 3.849 million tons of despatches in March 2022. South-based mills despatched 636,465 tons of cement in local markets during March 2023, 26.14% less than the despatches of 861,742 during March 2022.
Exports from North-based mills increased by 24.63% as the quantities rose from 80,584 tons in March 2022 to 100,431 tons in March 2023. Exports from the South also increased by 57.40% to 338,002 tons in March 2023 from 214,737 tons during the same month last year.
During the first nine months of the current fiscal year, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) were 33.6 million tons which is 17.59% lower than the 40.769 million tons despatched during the corresponding period of the last fiscal year. Domestic despatches during this period were 30.564 million tons against 36.126 million tons during the same period the previous year, showing a reduction of 15.40%. Export despatches were also 34.62% less as the volumes reduced to 3.036 million tons during the first nine months of the current fiscal year compared to 4.643 million tons of exports during the last fiscal year.
North-based Mills despatched 25.047 million tons of cement domestically during the first nine months of the current fiscal year showing a reduction of 16.33% from cement despatches of 29.937 million tons during July-March 2022. Exports from the North increased by 14.56% to 778,437 tons during July-March 2023 compared with 679,481 tons exported during the same period last year. Total despatches by North-based Mills reduced by 15.65% to 25.826 million tons during the first nine months of the current financial year from 30.617 million tons during the last financial year.
Domestic despatches by South-based Mills during July-March 2023 were 5.517 million tons showing a reduction of 10.86% over 6.189 million tons of cement despatched during the last fiscal year. Exports from the South declined by 43.05% to 2.257 tons during July-March 2023 compared with 3.964 million tons exported during the previous year. Total despatches by South-based Mills reduced by 23.43% to 7.774 million tons during the first nine months of the current financial year from 10.152 million tons during the last financial year.
A spokesman of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said that construction activities in both the northern and southern regions of the country have significantly decreased in the last many months, which is not only creating an alarming situation for the industry but also drying up the employment opportunities for skilled and unskilled labour attached to the construction sector. Continued political instability, currency devaluation and poor economic conditions badly affect all the industrial sectors, including cement.