Pakistan cement exports in the first seven months (July 2011-January 2012) of the current fiscal year fell in terms of quantity but gained in price by US$4.33/t, data by the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics shows. The industry expects dispatches to Afghanistan and India to grow in the remaining months of the year.
On a positive note, in January 2012 alone, Pakistan exported 689,000t of cement and earned US$38.253m compared to 493,000t at US$27.625m in December 2011. This reflects growth of 39.71 per cent and 38.47 per cent in terms of quantity and value on a month on month basis. Similarly, cement exports recorded growth of 17.89 per cent and 29.08 per cent on a YoY basis if compared with January 2011 data of 684,969t of cement at US$29.635m.
Afghanistan was the largest importer of cement from Pakistan during 7MFY2011-12. The country imported over 2.74Mt of cement compared compared to 2.44Mt in the same period last year, up 12.30 per cent. India is in second position having imported 402,726t compared to 272,263t during the seven month period, showing a significant growth of 47.92 per cent. Other quantities were exported to Middle East, Africa and other South Asian countries via sea.
An official off the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) told CemNet that exports to Afghanistan have picked up latesly on the back of an improved margin outlook with increases in Afghanistan export prices to US$50-55/t from the previous US$39-45/t. Similarly, exports to India are set to increase as soon as the Indian government allows two train interchanges per day from the three inter-changes a week, and cement exports via road is permitted.