LAHORE - The cement exports to Afghanistan increased by 40.25 percent from 0.150 million tons in July last year to 0.210 million tons in July 2017.
However, this major increase was offset by decline of 11.61 percent and 18.95 percent respectively in exports to India and other countries by sea which stood at 0.122 and 0.144 million tons respectively in July 2017, going down from 0.138 million tons and 0.178 million tons in July last year.
According to the data, local dispatches from units based in Northern region of the country were 2.423 million tons while their export dispatches were 0.338 million tons in July 2017 as opposed to 1.516 million tons local and 0.306 million tons export dispatches in July 2016.
South based mills also recorded a growth in local dispatches which increased from 0.352 million tons in July 2016 to 0.483 million tons in July 2017, whereas exports took a hit going down to 0.138 million tons from 0.159 million tons in July 2016.
The capacity utilisation was high at 86.46 percent. It is pertinent to mention here that the annual cement dispatch capacity of the industry has increased to 46.94 million tons. A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) said that the dispatch figures for July are most encouraging. He said by dispatching 3.382 million tons of cement in July 2017 the industry has established a record for this month. Never before, he said, the sector had crossed the dispatch limit of 3 million tons in the month of July.
However, he said that this does not mean that the economic planners ignore the genuine difficulties faced by this sector. He said the industry is performing in stiff regulatory environment and is only surviving because it has upgraded its technology that has provided it the strength to take any challenge head on.