Lahore - The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has said that the industry, during the past two decades, has increased its installed capacity by five times, doubling its production capacity every 7-8 years. The buoyancy in the sector, on the strength of robust domestic consumption during last 20 months, has encouraged the players to go for further expansion in capacities.

According to the Industry’s data analysis, cement manufacturing has reached its new highs and with some incentives from government the industry can further explore Indian, Afghan and other neighboring markets, earning valuable foreign exchange for the country.

The sector has grown at the rate of 10.97 percent in the first two months of this fiscal. It posted growth even in July despite Eid holidays that lasted for a week. Growth of domestic consumption in August is also robust as the consistent rains failed to affect the construction activities. The already launched infrastructure projects also gave boost to cement uptake. The upcoming projects along CPEC route would further boost consumption. Due to this, various companies are going for expansion which will increase the overall capacity and will help in the development of CPEC Projects.

Domestic consumption of cement has increased manifolds while the industry is yet to realize its exports potential, mainly due to the lack of support from government. It is pertinent to mention that loss of Afghanistan market is a matter of concern for the industry which has been marginalized in Afghan market by subsidized Iranian exports.

According to the data released by All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, cement despatches during the month of August 2016 stood at 3.585 million tonnes that were 16.75 percent higher than the despatches of 3.071 Million tonnes recorded during the same month of last fiscal.

Domestic sales during August 2016 were 3.028 million tonnes against 2.5 million tonnes in August 2015 showing a robust growth of 20.92 percent. Zone wise, domestic despatches during August 2016 in North were 2.495 Million tonnes (August 2015: 2.034 million tonnes) and in South were 0.532 million tonnes (August 2015: 0.47 million tonnes).

On year over year basis, total domestic despatches during the first two months of current fiscal were 4.89 million tonnes compared to 4.3 Million tonnes during same period of last fiscal, showing an impressive growth of 13.83 percent.