Cement sales remain flat, exports decline 4 percent in Jul-Nov 2011

KARACHI: Total cement despatches during five months of fiscal year 2012 (July-Nov) is likely to remain flat at 12.42 million tonnes as compared to 12.54 million tonnes in the comparable period last year, according to industry sources.

Moreover the trend was replicated in local despatches, which portrayed a meagre improvement to 8.67 million tonnes in 5M FY12 compared to 8.62 million tonnes in the same period last year. However, exports are likely to witness a decline of 4 percent to 3.75 million tonnes as demand from Pakistan’s major export markets (Middle East) was seen slowing down on account of subdued economic activity.

In November alone, total cement despatches are expected to decline by 12 percent on yearly basis to 2.12 million tonnes mainly driven by 14 percent decline in exports to 0.586 million tonnes as compared with 0.684 million tonnes in the same period last year. Local despatches on account of slowdown in construction activities in Northern part of Pakistan declined by 11 percent to 1.53 million tonnes as against 1.73 million tonnes in November 2010.

Despite sluggish volumetric sales, it was expected ‘over-weight’ on Pakistan’s cement sector with investment theme stemming from improved pricing power after its adoption of price discipline strategy.

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