Cement despatches registered a record high in March 2017, touching four million tons with the industry achieving full capacity on the strength of robust domestic demand. However, exports for the month declined by 60% compared to exports in the same month of the previous year.
According to an All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) spokesperson, the ever increasing domestic market has vindicated the manufacturers’ thrust on expanding production.
“Pakistan needs sustained infrastructure activities for at least a decade to close the infrastructure gap with competing economies,” said the spokesperson, adding that the cement industry was playing its role in supporting the momentum of the country’s economy.
The statistics, which were released by APCMA on Thursday, showed that in March 2017 the industry despatched 3.964 million tons of cement against 3.583 million tons despatched during the corresponding month last year.
Statistics also revealed that the cement despatches during the first nine months of the current fiscal year stood at 30.304 million tons, the highest ever recorded in the first nine months of any fiscal year. The figure showed an overall growth of 6.9% from previous fiscal year’s first nine months.
The domestic despatches in March 2017 were 23% higher than the despatches in the same month of the previous year. In contrast, exports declined by a whopping 60.39%. This massive decline in exports reduced the despatches growth in March to only 10.63%. In the first nine months of the ongoing fiscal year, the domestic dispatches increased by 10.9%, while the exports registered a decline of 14.83%.
Moreover, the spokesperson added that the domestic producers were coping with the challenges of unethical exports on the strength of their excellent quality. “Substandard cement has created a distraction, but it could not suppress the demand of high quality Pakistani cement.”
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