Cement makers¹ capacity utilisation at 82 per cent DAILY
The capacity utilisation of Pakistani cement manufacturing companies during the quarter ended March 31 stood at 82.1 per cent, with around seven per cent of the capacity being taken up by the exports to Afghanistan. Tariq Saeed Saigol, chairman, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), stated this in the financial statement of the sector for the third quarter of the ongoing financial year, issued here Tuesday. Mr Saigol said the total dispatches during the quarter were of the order of 3.4Mt, including exports of around of 0.3Mt. Total capacity utilisation for nine months ended March 31, including exports, reached 77.47 per cent and it could reasonably be expected that with demand growth accelerating during last quarter, the industry might end the ongoing-year with capacity utilisation in excess of 80 percent, he said. ³Should this be achieved, the year on year growth in consumption will exceed 15 per cent this year, which will exceed last year¹s growth,² he added.
Further, Mr Saigol said that in the quarter ended March 31, the demand for cement remained somewhat slack during the first two months owing to seasonal effects and a great number of closed days because of holidays. ³However, after Ashura demand has picked up both in the domestic and Afghan markets,² he said. ³March witnessed extraordinary activity in the construction sector as demand picked up in both public and private sectors. Exports to Afghanistan were recorded at 163,284t during the month, which is a record.²
He also said that APCMA also coped with price pressures and prices were restricted to Rs 220 to Rs 230 per bag depending on the brand preference. Mr Saigol also stated that because the coal prices now exceeds $60 per metric ton, the industry was facing shortage of fuel oil and there was also a steel crises surface, the government should abolish or reduce excise duty on cement, consider abolition of import duty on coal and take some appropriate steps to reduce steel prices that became major constraint for the sector. (Original report: Daily Times).
Meanwhile.... An increase of US$15 or Rs0.862/t was recorded in Pakistani export price of cement during the last month, while on the other hand cement price in the country is reportedly now averaging US$67 despite cut in taxes and central excise duty. Local analysts nalysts said that due to increase in cement demand inside the country, producers were not showing too much interest cement exports apart from Afghanistan where local prices were very favourable to some Pakistani producers able to transport cement into the country.