Pakistan cement manufacturers and exporters during first four months of current FY2011-12 (July-October) exported 2.991Mt of cement and earned US$161.702m compared to 3.347Mt at US$162.993m in the corresponding period of the previous year. This shows cement exports fell by 10.63% and 0.79% in terms of volume and dollar value, respectively, according to data released by the Pakistan Government’s Federal Bureau of Statistics.
However, in terms of Pakistani rupee, export values were up slightly by 0.44% during the period as the currency depreciated against the dollar.
On more positive note, the average export price stood at US$54/Mt, compared to US$48.60/Mt, registering an increase of 11.11% in export price.
The biggest importer of Pakistani cement was Afghanistan, which noted an 18% to 1.8Mt YoY. Exports to India registered a growth of 68.82% to 253,118t. Additional volumes were shipped to other Middle Eastern and African countries, but exports by sea declined by over 25%. An official of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) attributed the drop to a lack of clinker exports as well as a rise in local dispatches, which were up 10%.
However, in the month of October 2011 alone, Pakistan exported 723,545t of cement and earned US$49.882m compared to 862,765t at US$35.930m in September 2011. This reflects a MoM decline of 16.14% in terms of quantity but an increase by 38.83% in dollar value. Compared with the previous year, October cement exports fell by 18.67% to 88,689t and by 9.34% to US$45.621m.
According to industry and brokerage house sources, exports via sea have been declining owing to low export prices, barely enough to cover even variable costs. Consequently, producer focus has been diverted to domestic sales, which have offered some respite in a difficult FY12. Nevertheless, exports to India are expected to further improve as bilateral trade between the two countries improves. Lower export prices are forecast to continue to impact on export volumes but the outlook for local sales is upbeat.