By Muhram Hussain
KARACHI: Cement despatches in the country were reduced to 3.52 million tons in April this year as compared to 4.61 million tons in the corresponding month of 2019, registering a decline by 23.65%, Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association sources yesterday said. Both export and domestic markets were said to have crashed due to the devastating impact of COVID-19, with major brunt borne by the export sector that for the first time in the current financial year recorded the lowest volume of 249,127 tons last month against 574,025 tons in April last year, depicting a decrease of 56.6%. Exports from the Southern Zone declined by 27.97 percent from 343,611 tons in April 2019 to only 247,519 tons in April 2020.
The situation was even more dismal for the mills situated in the North as the exports in April 2020 were negligible at 1,609 ton, falling 99.3 percent from 230,415 tons in April 2019. The decline in domestic consumption was witnessed both in North and South zones of the country as it fell 18.97 percent to 3,271 million tons in April 2020 from 4.037 million tons in the same month last year.