Pakistan’s cement exports showed an increase of 37 per cent in the first six months of the current fiscal year due to increase in demand from Afghanistan, industry sources said.
Statistics showed on Tuesday that 1.061Mt cement was exported to Afghanistan and other countries during the July-December period of current fiscal year, against 0.775Mt exported during corresponding period of last year, showing an increase of 0.286Mt, or 37 per cent. Exporters said that the reconstruction process in Afghanistan had increased the cement demand manifold, which boosted its exports during the period.
North zone (Punjab and NWFP) exporters exported 0.319Mt cement during the period under review, against 0.028Mt in 2005-06, showing an increase of 1039 per cent. South zone (Sindh and Balochistan) exporters exported 0.742Mt cement against 0.747Mt, showing a decrease of one per cent.
Cement exports declined by 14 per cent during December 2006 to 0.106Mt from 0.124Mt of last year, statistics indicated. The sector showed a growth of 26 percent in total sales with 11.037Mt during the first half of current fiscal year 2006-07, which stood at 8.75Mt during the same period of the last fiscal year, sources said.
Total local cement dispatches stood at 9.976Mt during the first half of 2006-07 as compared to 7.981Mt during the same period of the last fiscal year, showing an increase of 25 per cent.
During December 2006 the overall cement dispatches, including imports, grew up by 29 per cent to 1.977Mt against 1.529Mt of December 2005.
Similarly, local dispatches of cement stood at 1.87Mt during December 2006 as compared to 1.405Mt during the same month of the last year, depicting an increase of 33 per cent.
The overall production capacity of cement companies also increased from 24Mta in June 2006 to 30Mta by the end of December 2006. The overall capacity utilisation during the first half of the fiscal year 2006-07 decreased by five per cent, which stood at 74 per cent, whereas it was 79 per cent during the same period of first half of 2005-06.
The dispatches increased due to major stimulus of growth including improved infrastructure and increased construction activities along with reduction in cement prices, said an industrialist. Lucky Cement and Dera Ghazi Kahan Cement (DGKC) were market leaders with share of 18 percent and 11 per cent, respectively. Cumulatively, they sold 2.65Mt cement in the local market and managed to export 0.450Mt.