Cement despatches declined by 14.79 percent in January 2024 with the total despatches standing at 3.414 million tons against 4.006 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 during January 2024 were 2.967 million tons compared to 3.588 million tons in January 2023, showing a decline of 17.30 percent. Export despatches increased by 6.82 percent as the volumes increased from 418,067 tons in January 2023 to 446,595 tons in January 2024.
In January 2024, North-based cement mills despatched 2.434 million tons cement showing a decline of 15.83 percent against 2.892 million tons despatches in January 2023. South-based mills despatched 979,970 tons cement during January 2024 which was 12.08 percent less compared to the despatches of 1.115 million tons during January 2023.
North-based cement mills despatched 2.385 million tons cement in domestic markets in January 2024 showing a decline of 16.50 percent against 2.856 million tons despatches in January 2023. South-based mills despatched 582,258 tons cement in local markets during January 2024 which was 20.43 percent less compared to the despatches of 731,747 during January 2023.
Exports from North-based mills increased by 38.81 percent as the quantities increased from 35,215 tons in January 2023 to 48,883 tons in January 2024. Exports from the South slightly increased by 3.88 percent to 397,712 tons in January 2024 from 382,852 tons during the same month last year.
In a statement, a spokesman of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association highlighted the serious implications of the new axle load regime due to which the loading capacity of vehicles is significantly reduced leading to operational inefficiencies and increased inland transportation costs as well as freight, handling and shipping costs for export consignments.
All these factors will put pressure on cement prices likely to result in high costs to the domestic consumers and adverse effects on export fronts. Association has repeatedly requested concerned quarters of the government to review the new axle load regulations and to address the related concerns of the industry on priority, he added.