LAHORE - All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has urged the government to support the industry by placing anti-dumping duty on the Iranian cement and reducing taxes to make the cement more affordable for consumers.

The APCMA spokesperson warned the government to realize that inroads in Pakistani markets by foreign brands through illegal channels would encourage them to increase this activity which is getting out of control, especially since no authority is even bothered to check the quality of imports as is done on our exports going to India, Sri Lanka and African countries.

He expressed its concern over sharp rise in coal and fuel prices , impacting the cost of production of cement.

Experts suggested that the government should avoid disruptive policies that impact construction growth in the country. They said that high cost of production in the country along with relaxed import policy of cement has resulted in a steep decline in the profit margins of the industry.

The spokesperson said that cement was one of the most technologically advanced industries of Pakistan that needed the government’s support. He said that Pakistan has most efficient cement industry that has made inroads even into the Indian market despite tariff and non-tariff trade barriers. If the government is interested in reducing the cement rates then it should reduce the levies on domestic production, he proposed.

He said the cement industry is performing in stiff regulatory environment and is only surviving because it has upgraded its technology, providing it the strength to take any challenge. The industry stakeholders said that 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.

Auto sales rise 21pc

For the Fiscal Year ended 2018, Pakistan Auto sales (including LCVs Vans and Jeeps) rose by 21 percent YoY with growth seen in all segments. The strong performance was due to a multitude of reasons ranging from supportive macroeconomic environment, cheaper financing, demand from ride hailing services, as well as demand generated from election activity. 

Honda (HCAR) witnessed the highest growth amongst its peers, clocking in at 31 percent YoY to a total of 51,494 units. The growth is mostly attributable to 302 percent increase in BR-Vs sold due to low base of BR-V units in FY17 as sales of the said SUV were initiated in 4QFY17. Disregarding BR-V, the company still posted 16 percent growth originating from City and Civic models.

Pak Suzuki Motor Company (PSMC) posted strong growth of 26 percent, selling 144,070 units cumulatively. The bulk of this growth can be accredited to  swelling growth of Wagon-R (up 65 percent), while Cultus (up 20 percent) and Mehran (up 22 percent) were other significant contributors.

Indus Motors (INDU) sold a total of 63,068 units in FY18 up by a modest 5 percent YoY. Focus on high margin segment has borne fruit as sales of Fortuner and Hilux have gone up a staggering 204 percent and 27 percent respectively. However, sales of Corola remained dull (down 2 percent) as the company continued to be plagued by capacity constraints.

In June 2018, auto sales were up 20 percent YoY whereas it was down 15 percent MoM due to Eid Holidays during June.