Lack of transportation facilities hit cement exports to India

Lack of transportation facilities hit cement exports to India
Published: 06 September 2007

Inadequate transportation facilities in Pakistan are hampering cement exports to India by road, manufacturers have claimed. 
"There is unlimited demand for cement in India. But the problem is we just don’t have enough trucks to send our product across the border via Wagha," the ’Dawn’ reported today, quoting Rizwan Butt of Maple Leaf as saying.  
"It will take a truck at least three days to cross the border, get customs clearance, offload the product and return home. That means we shall have less transport for delivery in the local market when we are exporting.  
"We don’t have enough trucks to transport our cement even in the domestic market," he said.  
Maple Leaf is one of the two Pakistani cement manufacturing companies whose products have been cleared by the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) for export to India after a detailed survey of their production facilities and product.  
The other company is Lucky Cement, which is the first Pakistani cement producer to try to export its product to India in March. But its consignment of 5,000t was detained by the Indian authorities because of lack of BIS certification.  
"A similar problem exists with cement export by train. The Pakistani train wagons do not meet the standard of the Indian authorities. Therefore, it will not be possible for the cement producers to use railway facility to export their product to the neighbouring country," an official of the All-Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association said.  
However, both the companies told the daily that they intended to begin exporting their product to India by sea over the next one week. Lucky Cement is selling its cement to Indians at a rate of USD 68-70/t (or 20 bags of 50kg each), while Maple Leaf at US$76/t.