Shortage of plastic bags in Pak to affect cement exports to India

Shortage of plastic bags in Pak to affect cement exports to India
Published: 14 September 2007

The cement export to India from Pakistan is likely to be affected by the shortage of plastic bags used for transporting.  
 
Two companies are supplying the plastic bags to the cement industry for packing and transporting of cement, but these companies are not able to meet the demands of the cement industry. 
 
These companies are producing around 16 million bags each of 50 Kg. However, industry requires around 28 million bags, said Muhammad Shahzad spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA). 
 
Most of the companies prefer paper bags to supply cement in the local market, as it is cheaper and easily available while the plastic bags are costly as well as in short supply.  
 
A paper bag costs around Rs 6 to 8 while plastic bag costs around Rs 12 to Rs 13, said a local cement trader. 
 
It is the reason that in local markets cement is sold in paper bags," said a cement trader. According to Indian and international standards, the companies are bound to export cement in plastic bags.  
 
Shahzad said that the two companies that provide plastic bags to the cement manufacturers have agreed to enhance their production, but it would take time.  
 
Local cement manufacturers are exporting cement to Middle East and African countries. A couple of month’s back, around dozen companies applied to the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for certification, the Daily Times reported.  
 
Two major cement manufacturing companies were formally allowed to export cement to India, while the rest of the companies were waiting for the approval, said APCMA spokesman.  
 
Pakistani cement manufacturers are eyeing the big cement market as India needs more than 2.5-3Mt cement annually.