LAHORE - The exports of cement continued to show dismal performance, reporting a decline of 7.82 percent from 0.38 million tons in Jan 2017 to 0.35 million tons in Jan 2018.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers' Association (APCMA), out of total cement despatches of 4.09m tons in Jan the domestic consumption was 3.74 million tons.

Spokesman for the APCMA regretted that the government is not heeding to the requests of the industry to take steps for increasing exports and eliminating the unlawful smuggled imports of cement. He said that the industry is managing the import threat through efficient operations and low profit margins.

"The government should take measures to increase cement exports and curb the smuggling and under invoicing to provide some much needed relief to the industry," he added.

Cement consumption in North zone was 3.02m tons and surged by 41.68 percent in Jan 2018 compared to same month last year, which lead the domestic growth. This is the second time this fiscal that cement consumption in Northern zone of the country exceeded 3 million tons.

The consumption in the Southern zone of the country was also robust being 0.72 million tons. The overall increase in cement despatches was restricted to 14.94 percent due to 16.25 percent decline in cement exports.