Pakistan’s cement industry, which benefited from windfall profits in previous years, is claiming that its exports declined by nine per cent in April as compared to March 2009. The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) is already in hot pursuit of fiscal incentives in the 2009-10 federal budget with the argument that it would collapse if the government did not extend a rescue package to it.
The Association says that reduction in Public Sector Development Program (PSDP), the high cost of energy, high interest rate and Rs 96 per bag tax are some of the reasons for the decline in cement industry. According to the Association’s data for the first ten months (July-April) of current fiscal year, local dispatches declined by 15 percent, whereas 6.47 percent growth had been witnessed in the previous year.
Last year, local dispatches were estimated at 22.396Mt, against the 15.91Mt of first 10 months of current fiscal year. Overall exports of clinker and cement increased by 51.3 per cent, to 8,996,839t against 5,946,706t of last year. Last year, growth was 150 percent. Interestingly, the data released by the cement manufacturers does not contain the impact of high cement prices.