Energy crisis hampers capacity utilization of cement sector

Karachi: A slow recovery in domestic cement consumption during first seven months of this fiscal saved the day for the cement industry which has been constantly losing its export market since last year. January was another good month for domestic market and bad for exports.

According to a statement released by cement manufacturers association APCMA, in January 2013 domestic cement dispatches jumped by 10.10 percent to 2.135 million tons. The despatches made by the north based mills amounted to 1.706 million tons while the mills located in south despatched 0.429 million tons of cement for domestic market. The cement exports declined in the same month by 11.91 percent with total exports of 522,584 tons. Out of this 330,016 tons of exports were generated from north and 192,568 tons from south.

In the first seven months of this fiscal the total cement despatches in the country reached 18.607 million tons. The domestic use stood at 13.862 million tons and exported quantity was 4.746 million tons. The overall increase in domestic cement consumption was 7.98 percent while the overall decline in exports was 6.05 percent. The total increase in the despatches of cement stood at 4.02 percent after adjusting for decline in exports.

APCMA spokesman has said that there is a serious energy crisis prevailing in the country and during the last month half of the cement units located in northern part of the country did not operate at optimum levels.