Pakistan Cement Company (PCC), a majority owned subsidiary of Orascom Construction Industries (OCI), has begun export of cement to east Africa by sending a shipment of 17,000t.
The shipment is the first to reach the east African region from Pakistan, the company claims. PCC delivered the export shipment through OCI Cement Trading (OCT), which is a wholly owned subsidiary of OCI that provides export and import services to the OCI Cement Group worldwide.
PCC also exports cement to Afghanistan, which is a growing market for Pakistani cement manufacturers. For sea-based exports, PCC plans to use Karachi Port and Qasim Port during 2007 to benefit from growing opportunities in the international export market. PCC Managing Director, Ahmad Heshmat, said the surplus capacity in the Pakistani cement market could obtain good value in the international trade market, which is extremely tight on cement supplies during 2007 due to strong growth in consumption worldwide.
OCI Cement Trading is currently engaged in discussions with other cement producers in Pakistan to export surplus product to various potential destinations.
Country’s cement exports witnessed a strong and healthy growth of 112 percent to an all-time high level of 3.188 million tonnes during 2006-07 thanks to the rising international demand. Regional cement shortages have played a key role in boosting cement exports of the country. Expansion of production capacity by the leading cement manufacturers has enabled them to sell cement to buyers in the international market.
Particularly, the demand from the Gulf countries has been exceptional, which has enabled the local cement firm to use more of their production capacity. On average the local cement producers utilised 80 percent of their capacity, which is on the higher side if we look at the utilisation of capacity in the previous years. Cement industry’s installed capacity has more than doubled during the last five years. It now stands near 34 million tonnes.
According to statistics of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) cement exports registered a robust growth of 1.68 million tonnes during the last fiscal (July-June) and reached 3.18 million tonnes. The country had exported 1.5 million tonnes in the previous financial year. Overall cement dispatches also set a record by rising 31.56 percent to 24.22 million tonnes during the last fiscal. In 2005-06 the sale of local cement firms had stood at 18.41 million tonnes.