Cement Exports via sea continue to decline: APCMA

Karachi –– Cement exports via sea continue to decline; sliding in first ten months of current fiscal year by 17.27% to India and 31.68% to other destinations. Clinker exports through sea also declined by 34.57% as compared with corresponding period last year, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association (APCMA) said Wednesday.

APCMA statistics reveal exports to India which amounted to 0.564 million tons in July-April last fiscal, slumped to 0.466 million tons in July-April 2011. Similarly, export to other countries declined from 4.755 million tons to 3.249 million tons and clinker export from 0.244 million tons to 0.160 million tons.

Exports to Afghanistan, however, increased by 16.85% in this period from 3.235 million tons to 3.780 million tons. Increase in exports to Afghanistan carry a big question mark in absence of effective monitoring as some circles allege a large part of commodity meant for exports is finding its way in local market because of obvious tax arbitrage by unscrupulous elements, APCMA statement said. Total despatches 25.722 million tons during July-April of current fiscal whereas local consumption stood at 18.06 million tons which was 6.76% lower than consumption in corresponding period last year and reflects weak performance of economy with moribund growth in GDP.

Exports stood at 7.656 million tons during July-April, 2010-11 against 8.799 million tons in same period of 2009-10. Local dispatches surprisingly increased in April 2011 by 2.78% when compared with April 2010. Dispatches remained lopsided with 19 cement units situated in northern part of country posting decline of 11.12% in first ten months of current fiscal amounting to 14.757 million tons whereas five operational cement mills in the South dispatched 3.308 million tons which was 19.28% which was higher than dispatches in same period last year.

ACMA says increase in diesel, electricity, coal prices badly hit cement industry. In addition high inflation, higher interest rates adversely affected viability of industry as recession hit consumers who are not in position to bear increased cost.

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