LAHORE  -  The trend of decline in cement exports continued which went down by 14.55 percent in October 2017 as compared to same month last year, from 0.518 million tons to 0.443 million tons. 

According to the industry, higher cement consumption in the country is a sign of its growing economy that is having positive impact on over three dozen industries connected with construction sector. However, the exports still remain below par. “The industry has pointed out the reasons for decline in exports that is worrisome as the industry still has idle capacity,” he said and added that almost all decline in exports is via sea. Exports to India are also affected but not to that extent. 

The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) spokesman said the cement demand in the North Zone remained surprisingly very high as the consumption in the region stood at 3.148 million tons during October 2017. He said it was for the first time that North Zone has consumed more than three million tons cement in a month. In October 2016 the domestic cement consumption in the North Zone was 2.489 million tons. He said cement demand in the Southern region of the country also increased from 0.519 million tons in October 2016 to 0.631 million tons in October 2017. He said due to robust growth in local consumption in the first four months of this fiscal, the industry utilised over 93 percent of its installed capacity. 

However, he said that higher cement consumption does not mean that the economic planners ignore the genuine difficulties faced by this sector. He said the industry is only surviving because it has upgraded its technology that has provided it the strength. “Our quality is the best in the region and our efficiency is second to none. No cement could compete with Pakistani cement if imported at real and fair value after paying all government levies,” he said.