Pakistani cement makers are gearing up to tap the booming construction market in Dubai and other Gulf countries where cement prices have shot up over 100 percent in the last one month on account of high demand, industrialists have said. Cement producers could earn up to $50 per ton profit if they are able to export to Dubai and its related markets, analysts said. Cement prices in Dubai have soared to a record 26.50 UAE dirham per 50-kg bag in May, up over 100 percent in April.
Industry officials said a few cement companies including Attock Cement, D G Khan Cement and Lucky Cement have received number of enquiries from Dubai seeking supplies. They said the cost of mega projects in UAE has risen because of soaring cement prices and developers are looking to import cement at lower prices from Pakistan and India. ³Yes, the company has received import enquiries from developers in Dubai,² said a source at Attock Cement. He said initially the firm has exported a small quantity but added that the company hopes to begin regular exports to Dubai from June 8. We will try to raise export level to up to 20,000 tons in next three to four months,² he said.
Meanwhile, local cement sales have risen 18 percent in the first 11 months of the current fiscal year. In May alone, sales have gone up 36 percent, according to data compiled by All Pakistan Cement Manufactures Association. According to the data, total sales in the period from July to May stood at 12.3 million tons, including 0.980 million tons of exports.
In May, cement exports stood at 79,000 tons, while local consumption remained at 1.13 million tons. In April, cement sales dropped nine percent but it registered a growth of around 36 percent in May.
Cement sector stocks have rallied at the Karachi Stock Exchange in recent sessions on expectations that the upcoming federal budget will provide incentives to the construction industry.