Pakistan exported 448,833t of cement and earned US$31.481m in November 2010 compared to 796,637t at US$45.310m in October 2010. This reflects a negative growth of 43.66 and 30.52 per cent in terms of quality and value in dollar respectively on month-on-month basis, according to data released by Federal Bureau of Statistics, Government of Pakistan.
If compared with November 2009, (896,857t at US$40.596m) the export of cement also downed by 43.66% and 30.52% in terms of quantity and value in dollar over same month last year, on a YoY basis. Pakistan mainly exports cement to Afghanistan, India and other countries.
On a cumulative basis, total cement exports during July-November 2010 stood at 3.8Mt compared to 4.384Mt in the corresponding months. This shows a fall of 12.35 per cent and 13.33 per cent in terms of quantity and value in corresponding months last year.
A spokesman for All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) told CemNet that there are number of factors responsible for the fall in exports and production. These include fierce competition among local cement manufacturers and exporters, a fall in cement exports to India, increased production costs due to the high cost of coal, and emerging competition from Saudi Arabia and UAE producers. In addition, prices in the local market remain depressed. The non-tariff barriers also curtail cement exports from Pakistan to India. He also pointed out that recent increases in petroleum prices would push up local transportation costs.
The source believes the government should take immediate steps to save the cement sector from suffering and losses. He said that excise duty on cement should be abolished forthwith and the minimum export price to Afghanistan should be fixed at US$55/t. He added that to make exports through sea viable, the government should honour its commitment given in three years trade policy announced last year to provide 35 per cent transport subsidy to all the cement manufacturers and exporters situated 100km away from the sea ports.