Pakistan is set to import 400,000t of cement to stabilise prices following rising demand. A vessel with nearly 32,000t of cement is due to arrive from China early next month, while a ship carrying 25,000 tonnes of clinker is expected from the Philippines soon, trade sources said.
Importers were in negotiations with suppliers following a Rs.60 per bag rebate announced by the government, said Raees Ashraf Tar Mohammad, the chairman of the Pakistan Commodity Traders’ Association. Ashraf said that cement prices in India, Iran, Ukraine and the Philippines range between $65 and $70 a tonne, while Chinese cement costs US$65 a tonne.
Contracts for the import of nearly 100,000t of cement have been finalised, while the paperwork for the import of 300,000t more has also been completed.
The landed cost of the imported cement comes to about Rs.300-310 per bag after paying various taxes. It would come down to Rs.250 following the rebate. Cement prices have been falling consequent to the rebate and the imports would certainly clip the prices more, Mohammad maintained. ’We expect that the prices could come down by Rs.40-50 per bag,’ he said. Cement production in the country could go up to 42Mt by next year from the current 19Mt, he said.