LAHORE: Gross cement sales fell by 16 percent in May 2022 as international demand declined due to a construction slowdown, which has been attributed to skyrocketing interest rates. The country’s political instability has also factored into the decline.
The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) report stated that cement sales receded by a total of 15.85 percent in May 2022, amounting to 3.32 million tonnes.
Domestic sales were down by 1.6 percent to 3.15 million tonnes compared to 3.2 million tonnes in May 2021. Exports took a major hit as sales dropped by 76.97 percent to 171,915 tonnes in May 2022 from 746,550 tonnes in May 2021.
The drop in cement demand has been attributed to higher interest rates, along with inflation in countries that import cement from Pakistan. On the other hand, domestic demand took a hit as a result of the ongoing political uncertainty in the country. Construction projects have slowed down, and a few government projects have been halted due to the instability, resulting in a decline in cement demand.
An APCMA spokesperson stated that the rupees’ continuous devaluation and inflating prices of petroleum and electricity have significantly affected the industry. He emphasised that the government needs to address the cement industry’s concerns in the coming budget.