Total cement sales in Pakistan increased by around two per cent in January and stood at 2.31Mt compared to the same month of previous year, First Capital Equities analysis stated on Tuesday.
On cumulative basis, cement dispatches during the first seven months of fiscal year 2009 (Jul-Jan 2009) depicted some three per cent nominal increase totalling 16.65Mt compared to 16.21Mt during the same period last year.
Higher cement export volumes remained the main reason of growth, as domestic demand was lukewarm during the period.
In January, the cement sector operated at 67 per cent capacity as compared to 73 per cent capacity utilisation in the same month last year. While overall utilisation level for the period Jul-Jan 2009 was recorded at 69 per cent as against 75 per cent in the corresponding period of previous year.
The drop in utilisation level is due to the addition of new capacities by Bestway Cement, Kohat Cement and Gharibwal Cement during the period.
The local cement dispatches registered an increase of 16 per cent at 1.52Mt during January 2009 versus 1.31Mt in the month of December 2008. However on YoY basis, this represents a decline of eight per cent.
In aggregate, the domestic cement dispatches for seventh month of FY09 were recorded at 10.78Mt - depicting a decline of 14 per cent year on year (YoY). Furthermore, the break-up of the data reveals that the northern cement manufacturers led local dispatches with 1.24Mt as compared to 284,000t for the southern zone during the period under review.
Cement exports continue to depict healthy growth and recorded at the level of 784,000t during the month - a decent growth of 26 per cent on Y-o-Y basis. While, cumulative exports for the first seven months period (Jul- Jan 2009) also witnessed a significant upsurge of 62 per cent at the level of 5.87Mt versus 3.62Mt in the same period of last year.
Moreover, on M-o-M basis also cement exports registered a growth of 26 per cent. The weight of sea-based cement exports during the month was recorded at 70 per cent in overall cement exports as compared to 68 per cent in same month of last year.
Cement exports to India during the month was recorded significantly lower at 10,000t, due to the withdrawal of duty exemptions on imported cement which has made the imported cement unattractive in Indian market.