Pakistan cement sales increased 22 per cent in the first seven months of the 2007/08 fiscal year compared with the previous year on growing construction demand at home and abroad, an industry official said on Monday.
Sales were 16.2Mt for the seven months to the end of January compared with 13.28Mt in the same period the previous year, said Shahzad Ahmed, secretary-general of the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association Pvt Ltd.
Pakistan’s financial year runs from the beginning of July to the end of June.
Exports of cement jumped 150 per cent to a record 3.62Mt compared with 1.45Mt shipped the previous year, it said.
Pakistani cement manufacturers have capitalised on a shortage in the region and have started exporting to India and analysts said they were now looking for new markets.
"We are exploring new markets like India, Russia, Iraq and even Nigeria, along with exporting to existing countries like the Middle East and Afghanistan," said Khurram Schehzad, an analyst at Invest Capital and Securities Ltd.
"Demand for Pakistani cement is there due to regional shortages and because it is much cheaper than that from other countries."
Domestic cement demand is expected to rise as the 2007/08 budget has earmarked a record PKR520bn for the public sector, which will mean more construction.