KARACHI: Cement exports during the first eight months of the current fiscal year (from July 2018 to Feb 2019) registered a growth of 52.30pc to 4.65 million tonnes, as compared to 3.05 million tonnes exported in the corresponding period of last year.
According to the data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA), the overall cement exports from the country increased by a healthy 69.07pc on a yearly basis in February 2019. The industry exported 0.51 million tonnes of clinker and cement in Feb 2019, as against the exports of 0.30 million tonnes in Feb 2018.
The southern part of the country, particularly the Sindh region, fared comparatively well as cement exports from the region increased by 185pc from 0.12 million tonnes in Feb 2018 to 0.35 million tonnes in Feb 2019. The local consumption in the region stood at 0.67 million tonnes in Feb 2019 as compared to 0.61 million tonnes in Feb 2018.
On the other hand, mills located in the northern region continued to suffer, as the cement exports from this region, which includes Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, registered a decline of 16pc to 1.86 million tonnes in first eight months of FY19, as against the export of 2.21 million tonnes during the same period of 2018.
Similarly, on a year-on-year basis, the exports from the northern region mills declined by 8.66pc to 0.17 million tonnes in Feb 2019, as against 0.18 million tonnes exported during Feb last year.
It is pertinent to mention that the export of cement also registered a decline of 16.7pc in the month of Jan 2019, as compared to Jan 2018.
The APCMA spokesman expressed dismay on the constant decline in cement uptake in the country, especially in the northern region.
According to industry experts, the export of cement to India has been suspended due to a 200pc increase in the import duty, following the Indian government’s announcement to de-list Pakistan from the status of Most Favoured Nation (MFN). They said that rains in almost all parts of the country have also affected the construction activities.