Cement makers reach limits

Cement makers reach limits
Published: 05 April 2004

Pakistani cement manufacturers claimed to have exhausted the existing production capacity of 17.16Mta - 100 per cent output capacity utilisation and the highest since last five years. Some 21 cement units are running across Pakistan, with a production capacity of 55,000 tones per day. "Almost the entire cement produced is dispatched to the local market, besides exports of 5000-6000tpd to neighbouring Afghanistan",
a cement manufacturer Razaq Thalpalawal told The News on Friday. Manufacturers attribute the higher activity in domestic build-up coupled with growing demand from Afghanistan in helping achieve the increased production level.

However, striking a dischordant note, Babar Mirza Chugattai, Chairman, Association of Builders and Developers claimed that the local construction industry was on the verge of collapse because of high input costs. He maintained that local consumers were suffering due to a"cartel of cement manufacturers", who he blamed for violating the Anti-Monopoly Laws despite the government¹s incentives. The builders believe the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) has failed to check the hike in cement prices. Market players ruled out a possibility of any downward movement in cement prices, which at present, ranges between Rs220 and Rs240 per bag.