The export of cement recorded an increase of 58.52 percent to 777,352t in the first half (July-December) of the current fiscal year compared to the same period last year, according to the data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Wednesday.
The association said total cement sales in the domestic market rose to 7,034,863t, up 21.23 percent against the same corresponding period last year.
In the period from July to December, the association said the capacity utilisation for the domestic market and export was recorded at 87.25 percent, which compares favourably to the equivalent capacity utilization at 75.13 percent for the corresponding period of the last fiscal.
The statement quoted Tariq Saigol, chairman APCMA, as saying that the cement demand continued to grow during the first half of the current financial year, despite somewhat diminished demand in November and December. He said the demand generated from private construction for housing and industrial projects and public sector demand for infrastructure projects continued to use large quantities of cement during the period.
As the infrastructure projects become fully mobilised and the boom in the housing sector takes root, it is expected that the demand to become even more buoyant in the remaining half of the current fiscal year and over all capacity utilisation for the year may well exceed 90 percent, he added. “Balancing and modernisation work at existing units is in full swing and several new plants are in various stages of construction,” Mr Saigol said and added most of APCMA members continue to gear up their existing capacity as demand surge will require most plants to operate at almost full capacity.