LAHORE: Pakistan’s cement industry has recorded its highest ever sales of 3.584 million tons during March 2016 on the back of healthy growth in domestic consumption and turnaround in exports; enabling it to utilise more than 90% of installed capacity during the month. While buoyancy in the domestic market has remained the main feature, the turnaround in exports has come as an icing on the cake.
Cement sales to domestic markets during March increased by 19.13% to 3.05 million tons compared with 2.56 million tons during same month last year. Exports, which dropped by double digits in the first seven months of this fiscal and showed a marginal growth of 1.47% during February, registered an impressive growth of 20.58% during March as the quantity increased to 534,804 tons compared to 443,539 tons in the same month last year. Total sales during March were 3.583 million tons compared to 3 million tons during same month last year, showing a healthy increase of 19.34%.
The domestic sales in the north region during March were 2,460,109 tons compared to the domestic sales of 2,074,322 tons during the same month last year, exhibiting a growth of 18.6%. The local sales in the south region during March were 588,898 tons compared to 485,088 tons during same month last year showing growth of 21.4%.
Analysing the overall situation of the current fiscal year, the statistics show that during July 2015 to March 2016, cement industry dispatched 23.94 million tons in local markets posting a healthy growth of 17.69% compared with local sales during the same period of last fiscal year that were 20.34 million tons.
Exports from the country declined by 19.02% to 4.406 million tons compared with 5.44 million tons in the corresponding period of last year.
The overall situation during first three quarters of current fiscal year showed 9.95% growth compared to the same period of last fiscal year as total dispatches increased to 28.34 million tons against 25.78 million tons from July 14 to March 15.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 6th, 2016.
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