Pakistan cement exports and domestic demand would continue to surge in the next quarter of the current fiscal year, predicted industry sources.
Last year, cement exports recorded an increase of 112 per cent and domestic demand rose 24 per cent. “Cement exports this year will surge more than two-fold compared to last year,” said Badruddin Fakhri, Managing Director of Galadari Cement.
“The future of the cement industry is bright. Cement exports to Afghanistan may remain the same as last year at around 1.7 million tonnes, however, exports to the Middle East and India will increase to a large extent,” said Babar Bashir Nawaz, Chief Executive Officer of Attock Cement and added that cement exports would demonstrate the same increase in the next quarter.
Cement prices have increased in the north of the country, but the prices have been more in the south as compared to the north. “We have reduced the prices of our products to cut short the difference between prices in North and South,” said Nawaz.
In Sindh, the prices of cement are more than those in North of the country. The reason why cement is expensive in the South of the country is that long transit route for delivery which almost takes three days but in Karachi it would take three hours in the delivery of South’s cement, Nawaz argued.
“Cement dealers have been earning more in supplying Punjab’s cement as manufacturer in the north offer incentives to the dealers in Sindh and keep their prices low as compare to the prices in Sindh.” Cement produced in Sindh is being sold for Rs215-220 while the cement produced in Punjab is available at Rs245-250, said Wali Bhai Patel, President of Karachi Cement Dealers Action Committee (KCDAC). This price difference must be curtailed, he added.