Pakistan: Cement exports have continued to decline year-on-year for the fourth consecutive month in May 2017, registering a fall of 44.6% according to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA). The decline follows a 45.7% year-on-year fall in exports in February 2017, a 60.4% year-on-year fall in March 2017 and a 50.8% year-on-year fall in April 2017.
However domestic sales were up by 10.9% year-on-year for May 2017, reaching 3.4Mt, as compared to 3.1Mt in May 2016. Total dispatches during May 2017 were 3.7Mt, as compared to 3.6Mt in May 2016, an increase of 2.4%.
So far in Pakistan’s fiscal year, which runs from 1 July to 30 June, domestic cement consumption has increased by a healthy 10.8% to 37.6Mt against 35.5Mt for 1 July 2015 to 31 May 2016. Over the same period exports have declined by 21.3% to 4.3Mt. A year earlier the figure was 5.5Mt. Exports to Afghanistan more than halved from 206,000t in May 2016 to 97,000t in May 2017. Exports to India also declined, from 135,000t in May 2016 to 114,000t in May 2017.
Industry experts have appealed to the government to take steps to boost housing, as the sector is currently dependent on infrastructure projects. They said that sustained growth in housing construction is essential to absorb the additional capacities that will come online in the next two years.