LAHORE  -   The cement dispatches for the month of Dec 2018 are expected to slightly decrease by 2 percent to 3.67 million tons from 3.73 million tons in the same month last year.

While the drop is partly due to closure of brick kilns to avoid winter smog, a slowdown in demand in the Northern region also explains the muted trend during the month. North-based dispatches could record a 12 percent drop in Dec-2018, where local and export sales are expected to decrease by 12 percent and 6 percent YoY respectively. In contrast, South-based players are expected to continue to post robust numbers where experts are envisaging a 44 percent growth in dispatches. This would be particularly on the back of a strong increase in exports (251 percent YoY), along with an anticipated double-digit growth (11 percent YoY) in local dispatches. For 1HFY19, total dispatches are expected to rise marginally by 1 percent, mainly on the back of 51 percent YoY growth in South-based dispatches (southern exports grew 237 percent YoY).

Analyzing forecasted dispatches by company, experts anticipate Attock Cement (ACPL) could potentially outshine owing to stellar growth in exports. They are expecting the company’s total dispatches to increase by 44 percent YoY with 169 percent YoY growth in exports during the month. D.G Khan Cement (DGKC) is expected to follow with total dispatches growth of 25 percent YoY. Again, exports are anticipated to play a pivotal role, likely to rise 120 percent YoY. Both ACPL and DGKC have recently added new plants in the south, helping these companies in boosting their export sales.