Exports of cement from Pakistan continue to swell in 8MFY19

Exports of cement from Pakistan continue to swell in 8MFY19
19 March 2019

Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) data shows that the country's cement export value and volume rose during first eight months of the current FY18-19, despite dwindling exports of cement to Afghanistan and India.
Pakistan's cement industry received foreign exchange revenues of US$205.86m by exporting 4.83Mt of cement/clinker during the eight months of July 2018-February 2019, compared to US$149.71m at 2.98Mt in the same period last year, according to the PBS. This translates a YoY growth of 37.5 per cent in terms of value in dollar and 61.9 per cent in terms of volume, respectively.
In terms of Pakistani rupees, the exports advanced 69.3 per cent YoY during this period to PKR27.04bn (US$193m). However, the value in US dollars fell from US$50.18/t to US$42.61/t in the reporting period.
In the month of February 2019 alone, the country's cement industry earned foreign exchange revenues of US$21.51m by exporting 504,361t compared to US$27.34m at 655,317t in the previous month and US$13.24m from 265,199t during February 2018. This shows a MoM decrease of 50.2 per cent and 42.6 per cent in terms of value and volume but a YoY increase of 62.5 per cent and 90.2 per cent in terms value and quantity, respectively.
All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) is yet to update its export data, but it is generally believed that exports of cement to Afghanistan and India remained contracted during this period. However, seaborne exports have increased during this period.
Export to Afghanistan/India
Local media sources say that exports have been shifting from Afghanistan with Pakistani producers shipping to other countries. In addition, there is also a shift from cement to clinker as Pakistan gains the upper hand in terms of competition between clinker-exporting countries. The growth in exports is being reported with each passing month. Experts points out that Pakistani cement in Afghanistan is no longer finding market access as much as it used to. Until 2006 Afghanistan was Pakistan's only cement export market. While exports to other markets became a reality, the share of Afghanistan in Pakistan's total cement exports remained high. At their peak, exports to Afghanistan were 55 per cent of all cement exports in 2012. This share started moving south as other African and Asian markets opened up, and moreover, Afghanistan opened doors to cement imported by other countries, including Iran.
The other interesting market is India, which has never exactly granted game-changing market access to Pakistani cement in the first place and is itself a major cement manufacturer. Even so, Pakistan has been selling over 0.5Mt of cement since 2008 which climbed to 1.2Mt in 2017 and 2018. This cement was going mainly to markets like Amritsar or Mumbai, where Pakistani cement is 10 per cent cheaper. However, it is unlikely that after the recent political pressures, which ultimately impact economic relations, Pakistani cement will continue to find a market in India. Even if cement can reach some markets through the border, the 200 per cent duty on Pakistani goods will make them entirely unviable.

Published under Cement News

Tagged Under: Pakistan Afghanistan India Exports Trade