Pakistan sector seeks new export market

Pakistan sector seeks new export market
Published: 03 February 2009

The cement industry in Pakistan is seeking an alternate export market other than India, as it has not exempted the import duty on Pakistani cement, which is damaging the exports of the sector, Daily Times learnt Monday.

The cement industry’s exports to India have been badly hampered. Exports to India during January 2009 were recorded significantly lower at 10,000t, due to the import duty on cement, which has made the imported cement unattractive in Indian market, industry sources said.

The trade of the commodity between the two countries has also been affected significantly following the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. Pakistan’s cement industry has now decided to completely abandon the cement exports to India citing unfavorable business environment.

However, cement exports continue to depict healthy growth and were recorded at the level of 784,000t during the month, a decent growth of 26 per cent on yearly basis. While, cumulative exports for the first seven months period (July-January 2009) also witnessed a significant upsurge of 62 percent to 5.87Mt versus 3.62Mt in the same period last year.

On monthly basis cement exports registered a growth of 26 per cent. The weight of sea-based cement exports during the month was recorded at 70 per cent in overall cement exports as compared to 68 per cent in the same month of last year, an analyst at First Capital Muhammad Rehan Khan said.

However, the local cement demand is likely to record higher volumetric sales during January 2009 as compared to the preceding month. The double-digit growth in monthly dispatches is due to the lower volumetric sales recorded during December 2008 on account of lesser working days during the month. That said the local cement dispatches registered an increase of 16 percent to 1.52Mt during January 2009 versus 1.31Mt in the month of December 2008. On yearly basis this shows a decline of 8 percent. In aggregate, the domestic cement dispatches for 7MFY09 were recorded at 10.78Mt, depicting a decline of 14 per cent yearly. Furthermore, northern cement manufacturers led local dispatches with 1.24Mt as compared to 284,000t for the southern zone during the said period.

The overall cement dispatches are likely to witness a meagre growth of two per cent during the month of January 2009 at 2.31Mt versus the same month last year.