LAHORE -  Amidst rising prices of coal in the international market, the manufacturers have put their price increase plan on-hold in the hope that the government will consider reduction in duties on import of coal .

Moreover, the international coal prices have also retraced to $83/ton level after touching a high of $100/ton in November 2016, convincing the industry not to pass-on coal price hike to the customers.

All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has said that coal is a widely used fuel in the production of cement and its increasing prices during last few months has a significant impact on input cost whereas recent increase in the oil prices has further increased the cost of cement production.

The APCMA spokesman urged the government to support the industry by cutting the taxes which will decrease the cement prices as well as increase the demand of cement , resulting in capacity enhancement of the industry and creating more job opportunities.

He expressed satisfaction at the continued growth in domestic cement despatches. He said that even the crisis in the property sector has not impacted construction activities. The huge infrastructure projects undertaken by both federal and provincial governments is icing on the cake. He said consumption of cement has increased across the board more so in South where the general perception is that the activities are slow.

Cement industry has achieved its highest ever capacity utilization 98.61 percent by dispatching 3.749 million tons of cement in November 2016 against 3.377 million tons in same month of last year. The domestic consumption of cement in November 2016 was 3.270 million tons as compared to 2.843 million tons of same month of last year. However, exports have declined by 10.39 percent from 0.533 million tons in November 2015 to 0.478 million tons in November 2016.

According to data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, Cement industry dispatched 16.251 million tons of cement during the first five months of this fiscal which is 9.89 percent higher than 14.788 million tons cement dispatched during the corresponding period of last fiscal.

During the first five months of the current fiscal, domestic dispatches were 13.709 million tons which is 12.13 percent higher than the domestic dispatches of cement in the same period last year.