Record local cement despatches amid stagnant exports

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Domestic cement despatches peaked to a record 25 million tons in Fiscal Year 2012-13, said the market sources.
The despatches marked an increase of 1.1 million tons compared to the previous year’s 23.95 million tons.
The cement manufacturers, however, said the stagnant exports marred the excellent performance of the cement sector.
According to data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association Pakistan (APCMA), the industry despatched 33.43 million tons of cement in FY2012-13 of which 25.06 million tons were consumed domestically while 8.37 million tons were exported.
The total cement despatches, however, remained lower than the record despatches of 34.22 million tons witnessed in 2009-2010 which was supported by exports of 10.65 million tons that year while the domestic consumption was 23.57 million tons. The exports in 2012-2013 remained stagnant to 8.37 million tons.
Meanwhile, the data for the month of June 2013 revealed that the construction activities slowed down a bit as the new government settled down. The entrepreneurs were looking for the direction the new economic managers would issue.
The domestic cement despatches declined from 2.29 million in June 2011-12 to 2.21 million ton in June 2012-13 depicting a decrease of 3.23 percent. The exports declined even more in June being 0.731 million ton in 2011-12 and 0.665 million tons in 2012-13 a decline of 8.97 percent.
A spokesman of APCMA said that the surge in domestic demand is heartening for the cement manufacturers. He said that cement capacities were basically enhanced to cater to the domestic needs of the country.
Cement exports, he said, were undertaken where it was even marginally feasible as the domestic demand did not rise due to economic recession.
He hoped that the current fiscal year would usher the cement sector to high productivity as the new government is giving due importance to infrastructure and accelerated economic growth. He said that with proper planning and prudent economic policies, Pakistan have the capability to consume the entire installed capacity of 44.7 million tons of cement.