The cement sector of Pakistan registered a double digit growth in exports during the month of September 2016 by exporting despatches of 0.523 million tons mainly due to nominal increase in exports to Afghanistan and a healthy increase in export to India.
Data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) on Thursday said that domestic despatches in September 2016 were 2.536 million tons registering a growth of two percent while the exports amounted to 0.523 million tons reflecting a growth of 11.79 percent, compared to September 2015. Total cement despatches in September amounted to 3.059 million tons depicting a growth of 3.55 percent. During the month of September 2016, exports to Afghanistan increased nominally from 0.223 million tons in September 2015 to 0.228 million tons in September 2016 showing a growth of two percent. However, exports to India registered a healthy increase from 0.055 million tons in September last year to 0.112 million tons during the same month this year, showing a growth of 101 percent.
Exports to India are mainly through Wahga border and southern coast of India, said a spokesman of the (APCMA). However, according to data during the first quarter of current fiscal year, the cement industry has posted a growth of 9.50 percent in local despatches compared with local despatches during first quarter of last fiscal year. Exports also recorded a growth of 3.03 percent compared with exports during the first quarter of last year. The overall situation during first quarter of current fiscal year showed an 8.33 percent growth compared to the same period of last fiscal year.
During the first quarter – July-September 2016 – the cement industry despatched 8.976 million tons of cement, while during the corresponding period of July-September 2015 the total despatches were 8.286 million tons. Capacity utilisation during the first quarter of this fiscal year is 79 percent, an increase of 7 percent compared with corresponding period last year.
Industry hopes the domestic consumption to pick up once the valuation issue is settled by the investors. The growth in demand on infrastructure projects continued unabated, however, the government should avoid disruptive policies that impacts construction growth in the country. The association urged the government to take further measures to encourage domestic construction sector which is the main source of employment to the non-skilled workforce of the country.