LAHORE  -  The continued buoyancy in cement exports helped the sector post over 18.9 percent growth during Sept 2018, as 0.715 million tons cement was exported from Pakistan in this period against 0.401 million tons exported in Sept 2017.

Data shows that exports from North were 0.294 million tons last month and decreased by 4.69 percent against 0.308 million tons in September 2017. Exports from the South stood at 0.421 million tons in September 2018 and increased by 350.92 percent against 0.093 million tons in September last year.

Experts said that the industry closed the first quarter of this fiscal on a moderate note. This growth pales when compared with the high growth the industry maintained in past five years. The growth in the first quarter does not even match the increase in the production capacity of the industry in 2018. It utilized only 79.75 percent of its capacity in the first quarter compared with average capacity utilization of 87 percent during previous three years.

Majority of cement capacity is located in Northern part of the country. These mills remained under immense pressure in the first quarter. They dispatched 7.151 million tons of cement during this period that was 4.94 percent less than the dispatches of 7.523 million tons during the same period last year. Exports from North also declined by 21.58 percent to 0.747 million tons compared to 0.953 million tons during first quarter of FY2017-18. Mills in South were in driving seat as the exports increased from this region by a whopping 212.13 percent to 1.044 million tons from only 0.334 million tons during July-Sep 2017.