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Cement Sales Fell by 19% in February 2024

Cement Sales Fell by 19% in February 2024.

Pakistan’s Cement Industry Faces Slump in February 2024, But Exports Remain Bright

Pakistan’s cement industry experienced a significant decline in domestic cement despatches during February 2024, falling 19.22% compared to the same month in the previous fiscal year.

Read More: Cement Sales Slump 14.79% in January

This translates to a drop from 4.035 million tons in February 2023 to 3.259 million tons in February 2024.

Breaking Down the Numbers:

  • Local Despatches: The decline in domestic demand was evident across both regions. North-based cement mills witnessed a 20.73% decrease, dispatching 2.338 million tons compared to 2.949 million tons in February 2023. Similarly, South-based mills saw a 17.97% drop, dispatching 525,543 tons compared to 640,645 tons in the same period last year.
  • Exports: However, a positive note was the 11.02% increase in cement exports, with volumes reaching 395,935 tons in February 2024 compared to 444,962 tons in February 2023. This growth was driven by North-based mills, whose exports surged by 47.40%, reaching 95,393 tons compared to 64,717 tons in February 2023.

Year-to-Date Performance (July-February):

While February 2024 paints a concerning picture of domestic demand, the first eight months (July-February) of the current fiscal year offer a more nuanced perspective.

  • Total Despatches: Overall, total cement despatches (domestic and exports) during this period remained slightly higher than the previous year, with a 2.52% increase to 30.555 million tons compared to 29.805 million tons.
  • Domestic vs. Exports: However, this growth is primarily driven by a significant 73.10% increase in cement exports, reaching 4.496 million tons compared to 2.597 million tons in the corresponding period of the previous fiscal year. Conversely, domestic despatches during this period decreased by 4.22%, reaching 26.059 million tons compared to 27.207 million tons in the previous year.

Regional Variations:

  • North-based mills: Although facing a 3.73% decline in domestic despatches (21.495 million tons compared to 22.327 million tons), they managed to compensate with a 35.02% increase in exports (915,449 tons compared to 678,006 tons), resulting in a 2.59% decrease in total despatches compared to the previous year.
  • South-based mills: While domestic despatches witnessed a 6.47% drop (4.564 million tons compared to 4.880 million tons), exports skyrocketed by a staggering 86.55% (3.580 million tons compared to 1.919 million tons), leading to a 19.78% increase in total despatches compared to the previous year.

Industry Outlook and Expectations:

Despite the recent slump in domestic demand, the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association remains optimistic. A spokesperson expressed hope that the newly formed government will implement industry-friendly policies to address current challenges and support future growth.

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