KARACHI: Cement dispatches during the outgoing fiscal year grew by 9.82 per cent to 38.87m tonnes compared to 35.34m tonnes the preceding year.
It should be noted that additional taxes have been imposed in the budget 2016-17 that increased the cement price by Rs35 per bag. Local cement sales went up by 17pc to 33m tonnes during FY16 compared to 28.2m tonnes in FY15.
While exports fell by 18.38pc to 5.87m tonnes as compared to 7.2m tonnes, interestingly exports to India increased by 42.53pc to 992,631 tonnes during FY16 in comparison to 696,417 tonnes during last fiscal year. Exports to Afghanistan dropped by 15pc and via sea to other countries by 33pc affected the overall exports.
The unstable situation in Afghanistan and an influx of Iranian cement limited exports to 2.44m tonnes during FY16 as compared to 2.87m tonnes during last fiscal year. Increased competition on the global level coupled with economic slowdown in importing countries reduced the country’s sea-based exports to 2.44m tonnes during FY16 compared to 3.62m tonnes during last fiscal year.
According to figures of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) domestic sales increased by 9.2pc to 2.96m tonnes in June 2016 as compared to 2.71m in same month last year. The comparatively lower growth was mainly due to a slowdown in construction activities during Ramazan.
Exports during June 2016 were 387,060 tonnes as against 552,867 tonnes in the same month last year, down by 30pc.
Total despatches (exports and local) during June 2016 were 3.35m tonnes as compared to 3.26m tonnes during same month last year.
Industry circles fear that the additional excise duty imposed in federal budget 2016-17 may dampen construction activities.
They feared that Iranian cement could easily penetrate Pakistani markets through the porous borders and the willing attitude of authorities to under invoice.
The cement industry lost approximately 1m tonnes of volume due to smuggled Iranian cement.
Courtesy : Dawn News