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As the global cement market size reached US$ 363.2 billion in 2022, international researchers expect the market will reach US$ 518.5 billion mark by 2028, showing a growth rate (CAGR) of 6.22 per cent during 2023-2028.

By rapid urbanisation, infrastructure development, favourable government initiatives and strategies, rising disposable incomes, and growing construction activities, chiefly in emerging economies, the global cement market is witnessing robust growth driven. On the other hand, it is also important to note that the global cement market is anticipated to rise at a considerable rate during the forecast period, between 2023 and 2030.

Researcher also analysed that the global cement industry is projected to stabilise in 2023, after facing a difficult year in 2022, owing to higher energy prices and soaring inflation. The reopening of the Chinese economy, along with the policy measures proclaimed through Beijing to revive the construction and real estate market, will support global cement consumption over the next 12 months.

In the Middle East, public works are projected to raise, which will also help the demand for cement in the region. In Saudi Arabia, mega construction projects like NEOM project will lead the cement consumption. In the United Arab Emirates, on the other hand, a strong recovery in the tourism and housing sector will drive the demand for cement over the next 12 months. However, the fear of recession in Europe and America is projected to dampen cement consumption from the short to medium-term perspective. The impact of the Russia-Ukraine war, along with surging cement prices, will also affect consumption in the region.

Governments worldwide recognise the significance of infrastructure development for economic growth and social well-being amid allocating substantial budgets to build and enhance transportation networks. These initiatives require massive amounts of cement to construct durable and reliable infrastructure. Moreover, investments in public facilities like schools, hospitals, and water treatment plants also contribute to the demand for cement. The proactive role of governments in infrastructure development ensures a steady flow of projects, providing a stable market for cement manufacturers and suppliers.

By the burgeoning population and rapid urbanisation, the global cement market is influenced as the enlarging real estate sector, driven through rising incomes and changing lifestyles, is boosting the market growth. Besides this, rapid industrialization and the growth of the manufacturing sector drive the demand for cement in the construction of factories and industrial structures, further creating an optimistic outlook for the market. In line with this, the increasing focus on sustainable construction practices and the adoption of green building materials are supporting the market growth. No doubt, cement is a versatile building material that is manufactured through a complex process involving the fusion of limestone, clay, and other materials.

Pakistan’s scenario

In the developing countries like Pakistan, as per the facts released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the cement dispatches for the month of September fell by 3.96 per cent as against to the same month last year. The industry dispatched a total of 4.115 million tonnes of cement during September 2023, contrasting with 4.284 million tonnes dispatched during the same period of the last fiscal year.

Cement shipments within Pakistan dropped by 6.87 per cent. Specifically, the North-based cement mills witnessed a fall of 7 per cent, dispatching 3.035 million tonnes of cement, while the South-based mills managed to fare slightly better, showing a 5.79 per cent raise in despatches, totalling 1.079 million tonnes of cement during September 2023. The industry consists mainly of calcium silicates and aluminates, which give its binding properties.

Cement comes in dissimilar types like Portland cement, blended cement, and specialty cement, each with unique properties suitable for dissimilar applications. Despite the domestic decline in September, the overall performance of the Pakistan’s cement industry in the first quarter of the current fiscal year displayed resilience. Total cement despatches, encompassing both domestic and exports, reached at 11.873 million tonnes, marking a robust 23.40 per cent raise from the 9.621 million tonnes dispatched during the corresponding period in the last fiscal year. Furthermore, domestic despatches surged by 17.67 per cent, reaching 10.122 million tonnes, while exports skyrocketed by 71.79 per cent, totaling 1.751 million tonnes during the first three months of the current fiscal year.

North-based mills were a driving force behind this quarterly growth, dispatching 8.333 million tons of cement domestically, a significant 14.80 percent raise from the previous year. Their Exports also soared, marking a 48.33 percent rise, standing 428,235 tons during July-September 2023. Meanwhile, South-based mills showed remarkable growth, with domestic despatches increasing by 33.18 percent and exports surging by 81.07 percent during the corresponding period. According to experts the rising import duty on coal, currently at 5 percent, poses a significant challenge. Additionally, by the industry about escalating power tariffs and petroleum prices serious concerns were recorded.

In conclusion, the industry is still in need of government support, counting relief in duties and taxes, to improve the competitiveness in international markets. As the industry navigates external challenges, stakeholders await government interventions to bolster the sector.