While cement volumes traded increased by only 3.5% YoY in the first five months of FY2012, Pakistan has seen a 38-39% rise in net retention prices, reports Pakistan Today. Despite the onset of winter, cement prices appear to be holding firm.
A further positive trend for cement producers in the country has been a short-term weakness in coal prices. Since 30 September, coal prices have plunged 10% to FOB US$102.2/t at Richards Bay – another unusual trend as usually they rise during winter. Deteriorating economic conditions in Europe and US combined with retrenching developing market growth has caused a slide in coal prices. However, forecast supply tightness, increased thermal power generation and strong industrial growth in China may push up coal prices in the longer term.