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Cement prices down by Rs.20/bag as local sale declining

LAHORE:     The cement prices have started dropping by around Rs.20 per 50 kg bag to an average of Rs.550 in northern parts of the country, as the sector continued to suffer from lack of domestic demand particularly in Northern part of Punjab and KPK where demand has cut to only 3.07 million tons in March 2019. However, prices in South region of Sindh remain intact at an average of Rs580-620/bag.
Industry experts said the prices have come down due to low demand, as construction work is not in progress these days; however, the southern area where weather is normal the rate of the commodity is still high. The industry stakeholders have stressed the need for reduction in duties and taxes to bring down the prices of cement and facilitate consumers which would also help industry to grow as it is playing a vital role in the development of the country.
They said that the major reason of the drop in prices is owing to slowdown in growth, lower development spending and delay in launch of government’s ambitious low cost housing scheme.
The manufacturers said that when prices of everything are going high and inflation is mounting to the level of 9 percent the depreciation of cement rates will hurt the sector profitability leading to affect the employment generation which country presently needs the most. They said that trend of decline in domestic consumption continued as it went down to 3.86 million tons in March 2019 from 4.26 million tons in March 2018, depicting a decrease of 9.44 percent.

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