March cement data reflects coronavirus impact in Pakistan

March cement data reflects coronavirus impact in Pakistan
06 April 2020

All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has officially released cement dispatches data for March 2020 and cumulative dispatches for nine months. The demand for cement in March has  reportedly contracted due to the mitigation efforts of the federal and provincial governments to stop the spread of the coronavirus in Pakistan. The whole country is partially or fully locked down for the last 15 days and this has affected the supply chain/local/export dispatches and demand in the country.

Coronavirus impacted domestic consumption, which declined by 16.7 per cent in March while the exports grew at slowest pace of 5.3 per cent as global markets were equally under pressure as a result of COVID-19.

According to the data of APCMA, the total industry dispatches stood at 3.721Mt of cement in March 2020 against the dispatches of 4.34Mt in the corresponding month of last year. It represents a fall of 14.3 per cent YoY. The pressure was heavier from the domestic market where the uptake was reduced to little less than 3.2Mt from 3.85Mt in March 2019. However, exports though inched up from 0.482Mt to 0.507Mt during March 2020.

In March 2020 northern mills dispatched 2.749Mt locally, which was almost 10.5 per cent lower than the dispatches of 3.017Mt during the corresponding month of last financial year. Exports from the north-based mills also decreased in March 2020 by 18.9 per cent to 0.107Mt, from 0.132Mt in March 2019.

The southern region reported a decline in domestic dispatches by 41 per cent, as they fell from 0.787Mt in March 2019 to 0.464Mt in March 2020. Exports registered a rise of 14.3 per cent to 0.401Mt last month, as compared to 0.351Mt in March 2019.

"In the wake of the lockdown extended until 14 April which means that the economic activities would remain further subdued. The industry is hoping to get some relief package from the government as managing dispatches is becoming extremely difficult with each passing day," according to cement industry experts.

Dispatches during nine months
APCMA spokesman added that "Overall in the first nine months of this fiscal the industry managed to dispatch 37.035Mt of cement that is 7.06 per cent higher than 34.593mt of the commodity dispatches during July-March 2018-19."

Domestic consumption during this period amounted to little over 30Mt while exports reached to 6.5Mt. Domestic cement dispatches increased during this period by 3.8 per cent only while cement exports registered a rise of 25.6 per cent.

Published under Cement News