Displaying items by tag: Pakistan
Pakistan: Cherat Cement has reportedly decided to install a new 1.3Mt/yr capacity production line, according to local media.
Abid A Vazir, executive director of Cherat Cement, said that the expansion is being undertaken to meet expected increases in domestic demand. The increase is expected to be fuelled by government spending on major infrastructure projects, with a special focus on the construction of highways and hydropower as well as housing projects. Expected improvements in the political situation in neighbouring Afghanistan, Pakistan's largest export market, may also give a boost to reconstruction activities.
Tianjin Cement Industry Design and Research Institute has reportedly been contracted to build the plant. Cherat Cement currently operates a 1.1Mt/yr capacity cement plant near Nowshera, in the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Province of Pakistan.
Pakistan: Kohat Cement has posted a net profit of US$6.63m in the quarter that ended on 30 September 2014, up by 11% year-on-year compared to US$5.98m during the corresponding period of the previous year. The company attributed the results to better income on cash placements and lower financial charges.
During the first quarter of the 2015 financial year, sales revenues increased by 11% to US$28.1m amid higher cement prices and a slight increase in volumetric sales, which were up by 5% year-on-year. However, Kohat Cement's reduced gross margins restricted earnings growth. The gross margins in the first quarter of 2015 were recorded at 35.5% against 38% in 2014, down by 250%. The decline in gross margins was caused due to the increase in electricity prices by more than 50%.
The quarterly statement also revealed that the company is in the process of installing a 15MW waste heat recovery (WHR) power plant, which is expected to reduce production costs. The plant, which will meet 30% of Kohat Cement's energy requirements, is expected to come online by the end of the 2015 financial year. The project will cost US$19.4m, 80% of which will be financed through debts.
Pakistan: During the first quarter of the current fiscal year, which began on 1 July 2014, the Pakistani cement industry posted growth of 9.9% in local sales compared with sales during the first quarter of previous fiscal year. However, exports declined by 8.1% compared with exports during the year-earlier quarter. Overall growth was 4.9% year-on-year for the quarter.
Cement despatches to domestic markets during the month of September 2014 were 2.42Mt, compared with 2.12Mt during September 2013, an increase of 13.9%. Exports during September 2014 were 0.73Mt against 0.82Mt during September 2013, a decline of 10.6%. Total despatches during September 2014 were 3.15Mt compared to 2.94Mt during the same month of 2013, an increase of 7.1%.
Officials said that Pakistan's cement industry is already facing a lot of issues due to high duty/tax structures, impractical imposition of sales taxes, increasing coal import duties, increasing power tariffs and axel load restrictions for haulage trucks that limit load capacities. Now they claim that it is also facing smuggling from Iran.
Domestic cement uptake in the south of the country is being seriously affected due to the influx of Iranian cement. Statistics showed that, against a 10.8% increase in domestic sales in the north during the first quarter of the current fiscal year, the domestic sales in the south showed an increase of only 5.4%.
A spokesman from the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturer's Association (APCMA) pointed out that despatches in the south should have been higher because the exports from this region during the first quarter of the current fiscal year increased by 12.2% to 0.78Mt against 0.70Mt during same period in 2013. On the contrary, exports from the north of Pakistan declined by 17.3% to 1.28Mt during the first quarter against 1.56Mt during same period last year.
The spokesman said that such lopsided sales are 'puzzling' at a time when the economic activities in the south have picked up appreciably. He said that a deep analysis of the situation revealed that the consumption has most probably increased at par or higher than the northern region but that Iranian cement smuggled without paying the duties and sales tax has penetrated the southern market, which is close to the Iranian border.
Pakistan: Kohat Cement Company Limited posted profits of US$30.9m for the year that ended on 30 June 2014, up by 20% year-on-year against US$25.8m. Cement sales increased to US$125m compared to US$111m in the same period of the previous year. Other income increased to US$2.60m from US$354,248 during the prior year.
South African authorities have started a new investigation into imports of cement from Pakistan. This time the inquiry will examine trade dumping allegations made by local producers including Afrisam, Lafarge, NPC Cimpor and PPC.
The application made by the cement producers provided evidence that the difference between the price of cement (the dumping margin) in Pakistan and for imports from Pakistan in 2013 was 48%. Or, in other words, the price of Pakistan cement imported to South Africa was nearly half that of what is was being sold for in the country that it was actually produced in.
The data submitted to the International Trade Administration Commission of South Africa comes from a report by Genesis Analytics on Pakistan cement prices in 2013 and tax information from the South African Revenue Service. Neither source is readily available for more detailed analysis here but data released by XA International Trade Advisors suggests that cement imports from Pakistan rose to 1.1Mt/yr in 2013 and at a value of US$59m. Roughly, this gives a price of US$55/t. This compares to an average price of US$90/t, from the All Pakistan Manufacturers' Association for the first nine months of the 2012 – 2013 Pakistani fiscal year, giving a dumping margin similar to the allegation by the South African cement producers.
Separate industry sources quoted by the Pakistan media on the story reported that the country supplies 1.5 - 1.6Mt/yr of cement to South Africa, its biggest export market, receiving a revenue of US$125m. Although this suggests a dumping margin lower than the one presented to the authorities it is still high.
Other information of note in the investigation notification is that the Pakistan cement imports are only competing heavily with the local bagged cement market in the Southern African Customs Union, which also includes neighbouring Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland. The notification discounts bulk cement imports from Pakistan as being 'prohibitively' expensive suggesting that the Pakistan cement producers have no import infrastructure in southern Africa or that something else is stopping them. For example, the country's market leader for production, Lucky Cement, has export facilities in Karachi with silos and automatic ship loaders. Yet it's only 'brick-and-mortar' presence overseas are projects building an integrated plant in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and a grinding plant in Iraq.
It may also be worth considering that South African industry newcomer Sephaku Cement hasn't joined the dumping allegation. The Dangote subsidiary was set to start producing clinker in late August 2014. This is out of character considering how prominent the Nigerian-based cement producer has been in campaigning against imports to its home nation. However, the Aganang plant in Lichtenburg, North West Province is over 700km from the coast and presumably safe from foreign imports at present.
One final question occurs. How are Pakistan cement producers able to dump bagged cement on the South African market at prices lower than what they are selling it for at home? If individual producers sold their excess at home at a lower price they could potentially undercut their competitors and make a profit. There are many barriers, from input costs to industry structural issues and other reasons that may be preventing this. However, if the South African cement producers succeed in their latest attempt to block imports from Pakistan it may add more impetus to remove such barriers.
South Africa: The International Trade Administration Commission (ITAC) is investigating claims by cement producers that cement from Pakistan is being dumped in the Southern African Customs Union (SACU), of which Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia and Swaziland are also members.
Afrisam, Lafarge, NPC Cimpor and PPC allege that bagged cement from Pakistan has been dumped at a 48% lower price than is the normal value in Pakistan. In 2013 imports from Pakistan accounted for just under 99% of all cement imports into SACU. According to statistics released by XA International Trade Advisors, annual imports from Pakistan alone were 1.1Mt in 2013.
Managing Director for PPC's cement activities, Richard Tomes, claimed that the dumping by Pakistan led to a decline in sales volumes, profit, output and the market share of producers in the region. He claimed that the effect of dumping included negative effects on cash flow and reduced levels of staffing in SACU cement producers, with the number of staff employed in the SACU cement industry decreasing by 15% between 2010 and 2013.
Pakistan: After posting cement dispatches of 3Mt/month between March and June 2014, Pakistan's cement dispatches were down to just 2.23Mt in July 2014. This compared unfavourably to dispatches of 2.6Mt in July 2013. Domestic dispatches of 1.75Mt were down by 6.5% year-on-year compared to July 2013. Cement exports dropped by a third from 0.75Mt in July 2013 to 0.5Mt in July 2014.
The poorer export performance was mainly attributed to a reduction in quantities sold to Afghanistan where against exports of 0.44Mt in July 2013 were reduced to just 0.18Mt in July 2014. According to industry experts, this trend is likely to continue in the coming months as NATO forces prepare to leave Afghanistan. The massive decline, over 58%, also indicates declining competitiveness of Paksistani cement in the global market where other regional players like Iran are making inroads.
Pakistan: Cherat Cement Company Limited will invest US$197m to install a new production plant at its existing site in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. The new plant will have a 1.3Mt/yr production capacity and will be commissioned in 30 months, according to Abid A Vazir, executive director of Cherat Cement.
The term-loan for the project has been arranged and Cherat Cement has established a letter of credit for the foreign component of the loan. The plant will be acquired from China's Tianjin Cement Industry Design and Research Institute Company Limited.
Cherat Cement expects domestic cement demand to grow exponentially as the present government has planned spending on major infrastructure projects, with a special focus on constructing highways and hydropower and housing projects. Cherat Cement is also expecting huge spending by the private sector on construction-related activities, fuelled by inflows of remittances from expatriate Pakistanis.
Pakistan: Lafarge has announced that it will sell its 75.86% stake in Lafarge Pakistan Cement Ltd and will use the proceeds, estimated at Euro190m, to cut its debt. BestWay Cement has been announced as the buyer. The transaction still requires the approval of local market and anti-trust authorities.
Pakistan: The inauguration of the Dasu dam has reinforced optimism in the local cement industry, which has been banking on the continuous increase in local demand owing to mega construction projects.
The Dasu dam, one of the mega dam projects, is expected to increase cement demand in Pakistan by 1Mt/yr for the next five years. The 4320MW dam will be completed in two phases at an estimated cost of US$4.8bn. Since the Dasu dam is located in the north, the cement for the project will most likely be procured from nearby cement plants. Cement companies like Maple Leaf, Fecto, Bestway, Cherat, DG Khan, Fauji are the most likely to benefit from the dam construction.
Analysts say the construction of big dams like Dasu and Basha will supplement the already improving cement demand in Pakistan. "Dasu dam will add an additional 1Mt/yr of cement demand, which will be significant for the local industries," said BMA Capital analyst Sajjad Hussain. "It will increase the already escalating cement demand in the country."
"The launch of the Dasu dam is important for the cement industry in northern region of the country," said Standard Capital Securities analyst Saad Hashmi. "Other major infrastructure projects that are expected to start soon will further increase cement demand and it may jump 5% in fiscal year 2015."