In the first seven months of the current fiscal (July 2010-January 2011) Pakistan exported 4.74Mt of cement and earned US$244.53m compared to 5.98Mt at US$289.27m between July-January 2009-10. This marks a decline of 20.81 per cent in terms of volume and 15.47 per cent in terms dollar value. However, the average cement export price has increased to US$51.63/ t during July 2010- Jan 2011 from 48.36/t in the same period of the previous fiscal.
Afghanistan remained the biggest importer of Pakistan cement followed by India. Cement exports were also delivered to Djibouti, Sudan, Sri Lanka, Somalia, South Africa, Iraq, Qatar, Oman, UAE, Yemen, and Kuwait.
Industry sources say that cement demand in the regional market (except for Afghanistan and Iraq) is under pressure due to slow construction activity, increases in cement production capacities and over-supply of cement. There was also a sharp decline in clinker from Pakistan to Gulf Council Countries. In addition, the north has lost market share from sea routes due to rising distribution costs.
However on a more positive note, Africa continues to be a potential market for Pakistan exports and bagged cement exports are also increasing.
According to data released by the Federal Bureau of Statistics, on a monthly basis cement exports in January 2011 stood at 470,667t (US$22.35m) compared to 468,936t (US$27.71m) in December 2010 – representing a slight increase in quantity (+0.37 per cent) but down in dollar value terms (-19.34 per cent). By comparison, January 2010 saw exports of 878,280t at US$39.39m, translating into a YoY decline of 46.41 per cent and 43.26 per cent, respectively.
According to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), during last seven months of 2010-11 (July-January), the industry’s capacity utilisation was 71.55 per cent.