Pakistan first-half cement export volumes rise

Pakistan first-half cement export volumes rise
Published: 24 January 2013

Tagged Under: Afghanistan India Exports Pakistan 

Pakistan cement exporters have registered almost a 30 per cent YoY rise in cement export volumes in the first six months of the current fiscal. However, the amount of deliveries to neighbouring India continue to disappoint.

During 1HFY13, Pakistan exported 4.514Mt of cement and earned US$304.92m compared to 4.419Mt at US$235.02m in the corresponding period of last year. This shows that cement exports rose by 2.16 per cent in terms of dollar value and 29.74 per cent in quantity over the July-December 2012 period.

In terms of the Pakistan rupee, total cement export sales swelled by 41.85 per cent to PKR29.09bn during the period due to a large depreciation against the US dollar over the past six months. The average export price rose by 27 per cent to US$67.54t in 1HFY13 from US$53.18 in 1HFY12.

Strong month-on-month gains

In December alone, Pakistan exported 902,109t of cement and earned US$59.43m compared to 752,429t at US$54.86m in the previous month, representing a rise of 19.89 per cent and 8.32 per cent in quantity and dollar value, respectively.

Indian exports remain a challenge

Despite this healthy recovery on the export front, an official of the All Pakistan Cement Manufactuerers Association (APCMA) said that overall exports remained under pressure over the six month period as potential Indian markets could not be tapped due to non-trade barriers and other issues. The country has only exported 0.209Mt over the last six months to India – well below industry expectations and indeed declined 40.41 per cent YoY.

Exports to India have been in continual decline since the two countries opened their borders for liberal bilateral trade with an APCMA spokesperson attributing the disappointing sales to the “very stringent non-tariff barriers erected by our neighbour."

APCMA is of view that discouraging the entry of cement trucks from the Wagah-Attari border to India and by limiting them to 7-8 trucks compared to 50 trucks of gypsum is also a non-trade barrier for Pakistani cement. Furthermore, the Truck Association at Attari charges INR25/bag to transport cement from Attari to Amritsar compared to INR3-4 to transport other products from the border to Amritsar.

The APCMA has urged Pakistan’s customs officials to discourage gypsum exports from Pakistan so that India it would automatically create room to increase cement exports from Pakistan.

Stable volumes elsewhere

On the other hand, exports to Afghanistan have remained stable, reaching 2.41Mt over the period. Exports to other destination through sea excluding India also remained stable in comparison with last six months of 2011-2012.