LAHORE: Pakistani export of cement to India through Land Freight Unit Wagha has plunged to 18 percent in first half of the fiscal year of 2017-18 and it stands at 1.79 million tons.
According to sources of Customs Today cement dispatches increased more than 12 percent to 22.243 million tons in the first half of the current fiscal year of 2017-18 despite that subdued exports continued to erode the commodity’s total off take, industry data showed.
All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association’s (APCMA) data showed that total cement sales stood at 19.806 million tons during the corresponding period a year ago.
Cement sector has been witnessing sales boom for the past four years as infrastructure development and construction activities boosted domestic demand of cement.
While local consumption surged 17.41 percent to 19.836 million tons in July-December FY2018 cement exports dropped 17.34 percent to 2.406 million tons.
APCMA’s spokesperson said exports were going down because of high cost of doing business and lax attitude of the regulators. The spokesperson said the government is ignoring malpractices in cement imports and plea of the manufacturers to cut duties and taxes on exports to help the local industry compete in the international market.
“The sector is performing well and contributing a hefty amount to national exchequer, which perhaps is the reason for complacency of the government,” the spokesperson added.
Cement units, located in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, dispatched 16.455 million tons of cement in the local market during the first half, up 18.12 percent over the same period a year earlier. Exports from Northern region, however, decreased 8.14 percent to 1.799 million tons.