Cement exports fell by 63.77 percent for the third straight month to 295,321 tonnes in March 2022 as compared to 815,120 tonnes exported in the same month last year. According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), overall cement dispatches also declined by 6.25 percent in March 2022. The total cement dispatches during March 2022 were 5.04 million tonnes against 5.37 million tonnes during the same month of last fiscal year. According to APCMA, local cement despatches by the industry during the month of March 2022 were 4.74 million tonnes compared to 4.56 million tonnes in March 2021, showing marginal increase of 4.02 percent. In March 2022, north-based cement mills dispatched 3.85 million tonnes in the domestic markets showing an increase of 1.07 percent against 3.8 million tonnes dispatched in March 2021. South-based mills dispatched 897,697 tonnes in local markets that was 18.94 percent higher compared to the dispatches of 754,741 tonnes during March 2021. Exports from north-based mills registered a massive decline of 71.26 percent as quantities reduced from 280,411 tonnes in March 2021 to 80,584 tonnes in March 2022. Exports from the south also reduced by 59.84 percent to 214,737 tonnes from 534,709 tonnes during March 2021. During July-March of the current fiscal year, total cement dispatches (domestic and exports) were 40.81 million tonnes, 5.81 percent lower than 43.33 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Further analysis indicated that domestic uptake of the commodity reduced by 0.03 percent to 36.17 million tonnes from 36.18 million tonnes during July-March 2021, whereas exports during the same period declined by a massive 35.04 percent to 4.64 million tonnes from 7.14 million tonnes. North-based mills dispatched 29.93 million tonnes of cement domestically during the first nine months of the current fiscal, showing a reduction of 2.27 percent than cement dispatches of 30.63 million tonnes during July-March 2021. Similarly, exports from the north declined by 64.47 percent to 679,101 tonnes in July-March 2022 compared with 1.91 million tonnes exported during the same period last year. Domestic dispatches by south-based mills during July-March 2022 were 6.23 million tonnes showing an increase of 12.31 percent over 5.55 million tonnes dispatched during the same period of last fiscal year. There was, however, a substantial decline of around 24.31 percent in exports from the south zone as the volumes reduced to 3.96 million tonnes in the first nine months of the current fiscal from 5.23 million tonnes during the same period last fiscal. A spokesman of APCMA said that the steep decline in cement exports was hurting not only the cement manufacturers, but the government’s revenue collection and foreign exchange as well. “There is immense need to formulate industry-friendly policies to catch-up our cement sales in international markets as well as to increase indigenous consumption of the commodity,” he said. The political instability, rising cost of conduction materials, land price and instability of exchange rates were the factors that adversely affected the sector, he added.