Pakistan: cement exports drop

Pakistan: cement exports drop
Published: 05 February 2014


Pakistani cement exports to Afghanistan dropped to 202,000t in January 2014, the lowest monthly level since July 2013 when they reached 441,412t.

Previous data by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers' Association (APCMA) shows that in September 2013, exports rose to 426,804t before falling to 287,598t in November and then increasing again in December to 314,329t

The decline in exports to Afghanistan, traditionally Pakistan's main export market, has been attributed to looming uncertainty in the neighbouring country due to the expected withdrawal of NATO forces and the slow pace of new projects.

Meanwhile, Pakistan cement exports to India have also fallen when compared with over 100,000tpm delivery achieved some five years ago. Exports in January 2014 stood at 39,000t. They have followed a steady decrease from 50,000t in July 2013 to 31,540t in August, 22,992t in September, 33,954t in October, 24,625t in November and 38,323t in December 2013.

“We can easily export 3Mt to 5Mt to India provided our concerns are properly addressed,” said the spokesperson of APCMA. Key issues include the slow BIS certification process, Wagah border congestion caused by lack of sufficient railway wagon interchanges and limited border operating hours. In addition, APCMA said containerised cargo and trucks should be allowed up to Amritsar and a banking system needs to be established on both sides of the border.

Total cement sales by Pakistan's cement produer during January 2014 were 2.73Mt compared to 2.65Mt during the same month of last fiscal year. During July-January 2013-14, the domestic cement industry posted a growth of 1.4 per cent compared with the same period in the last fiscal year. Total dispatches during this period stood at 18.848Mt against 18.596Mt during the corresponding period of last fiscal year. Exports showed an increase of 7.6 per cent, resulting in an overall growth of 3.1 per cent compared to the same month of the last fiscal year. 

Domestic cement sales increased 1.9 per cent to 2.16Mt during January 2014 from 2.12Mt during January 2013. In south Pakistan, sales during January 2014 were 388,000tpm compared to the average sales of 343,000tpm during the first six months of current fiscal year. Domestic cement sales in the north during January 2014 were 1.78Mt against average sales of 1.65Mt during July 2013 to December 2013.

APCMA chairman Mohammad Ali Tabba said the cost of production of the cement industry is rapidly rising due to increase in transportation cost and the electricity costs.