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Business

September 14, 2017

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Cement sales up 10.9pc, exports down 26.5pc in Aug

Cement sales up 10.9pc, exports down 26.5pc in Aug

LAHORE: Cement sales rose 10.86 percent year-on-year to 3.356 million tonnes in August due to its robust demand from infrastructure projects, but its exports fell 26.5 percent to 0.41 million tonnes, industry data showed on Wednesday. 

Cement domestic consumption stood at 3.027 million tonnes in the same month last year, while exports were recorded at 0.558 million tonnes in August 2016, revealed the statistics from All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA).

APCMA’s spokesman said domestic cement dispatches are constantly increasing, which is a good sign.

“This indicates that the economy is in good shape.” The official said the industry’s capacity utilisation was more than 96 percent in August.    He said the constant decline in cement exports is, however, a source of concern for the industry.

“Decrease in exports is in line with an overall decline in non-textile exports, which indicates competitively weak manufacturing sector,” he added. “This calls for a review of government policies, regulations and taxation for all non-textile exporting sectors as their revival would strengthen the domestic manufacturing sector and boost the economy.”

In August, domestic cement dispatches from the northern region were 2.731 million tonnes as against 2.495 million tonnes in August last year.

Cement sales in the southern region stood at 0.625 million tonnes in August 2017 as against 0.532 million tonnes in the same month last year.

Cement exports from north were 0.307 million tonnes last month as compared to 0.355 million tonnes in August 2016. Exports from south stood at 0.103 million tonnes in August 2017 as against exports of 0.203 million tonnes in August 2016.

In July-August, the industry dispatched 7.148 million tonnes of cement, showing an overall growth of 20.81 percent over the corresponding period during the last fiscal year. Local consumption increased 27.95 percent, but exports decreased 13.39 percent. 

Domestic cement consumption from north-based factories surged 28.51 percent in July-August, while it increased 25.41 percent from southern part. Exports from cement mills in north edged down 2.47 percent, yet from south cement exports sharply fell 25.41 percent during the two months.

“This should be a matter of concern for the authorities because in the past the south-based mills, being nearer to sea, were leading cement exporters,” said the industry’s official.

APCMA data showed that cement exports to Afghanistan received a major boost of 21.41 percent in the July-August period.

Exports to India and other countries, however, fell 21.76 percent and 37.53 percent, respectively in the first two months of the current fiscal year.

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