LAHORE: During the month of August, cement sales rose 10.24% despite a decline of over 31% in exports as domestic demand continued to rise in the wake of accelerated economic activities.
According to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, cement dispatches during August 2015 stood at 3.061 million tons, 10.24% higher than 2.776 million tons in the same month of previous fiscal year.
Domestic sales in the month were 2.494 million tons against 1.94 million tons in August 2014, showing a growth of 27.99%. According to the zone-wise breakdown, domestic dispatches in the north zone were 2.024 million tons and in the south zone were 0.470 million tons.
On a year-on-year basis, total sales in the domestic market in the first two months of the current fiscal year were 4.29 million tons compared to 3.67 million tons in the same period of previous year, showing a growth of 16.73%.
Exports, however, continued to disappoint. Exports from the north zone during August were 349,873 tons, while exports from the south zone amounted to 216,815 tons.
Against exports of 827,707 tons in August 2014, the shipments were restricted to only 566,689 tons in August this year, a decline of 31.54%.
In the first two months (July and August), exports to Afghanistan dropped 18.24% to 394,500 tons compared to 482,528 tons in the same period of 2014, while exports to India fell to 100,437 tons against 140,131 tons in the previous year, down more than 28%.
“Exports to Afghanistan are gradually drying due to inroads made by Iranian cement,” said a spokesman for the association. “Iranian cement is also penetrating Pakistani markets on the back of massive under-invoicing or mis-declaration.”
Published in The Express Tribune, September 9th, 2015.
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