Even with two Pakistani cement companies having obtained Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) certification to export to India, prices in northern parts of Pakistan have jumped by Rs20 to Rs 215 per 50kg bag.
“The prices in northern areas of Pakistan, including Punjab, have risen to Rs 215 from Rs 195 last week after BIS issued certificates to two cement majors in Pakistan,” said a dealer, who is negotiating with a Pakistani firm for cement import.?
Dealers in India are not too optimistic about imports, though they concede that the landing cost (FOB) at the ports would be $85-90 a tonne (Rs 3,485-3,690), depending on the quantity of the order to import.
“If you add storage, labour, transportation and marketing charges it may just be on par or slightly higher than domestic prices,” said an analyst, adding that acceptability among users was also a major concern.
The average cement prices in India are Rs 4,800 a tonne.
Analysts also said that transportation by sea is a better option, but added that very few ports in India are equipped to handle large cement consignments.