Lucky Cement and Pioneer Cement topped the export table in May because of higher demand for cement from Afghanistan and Iraq. Sources said cement exported to Afghanistan and Iraq during May 2005 amounted to 170,565t, less than April’s figure of 186,598t. Local sales were also down by nearly 14 per cent compared to April 2005 because of shortage of labour on account of harvesting season.
Lucky Cement exported nearly 38,423t and the Pioneer Cement 25,833t, while other companies contributed to total exports in May were Cherat Cement, DG Khan Cement, Bestways Cement, and Kohat Cement.
Sales during the first 11 months of the current fiscal year amounted to 13.358Mt while exports in the same period totalled at 1.442Mt. In the same period last year, cement sales were around 11.3Mt and export to the tune of 0.98Mt and 0.98Mt, showing a growth of 18 per cent and 47 per cent respectively.
Overall, such higher demand figures resulted from improved housing and construction activities in the country, economic upturn and increased exports to Afghanistan.
With demand shooting up during the remainder of FY05, full-year industry sales growth is expected around 24 per cent. Moreover, given that the capacity additions by manufacturers are planned to be gradual, excess supply concerns are mitigated, at least in the intermediary term.