Lahore - The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has drawn the government’s attention to constantly falling cement exports, saying the exports registered 2.84 percent negative growth in 2013-14, negative growth of 11.57  percent in 2014-15, and negative growth of 18.38  percent in 2015-16.

“This should be a concern for the government. The government should support local manufacturers to compete globally by giving them freight/ transportation subsidy and other incentives,” said a spokesperson of the APCMA.

He said that influx of smuggled Iranian cement into Balochistan and the country’s coastal areas was another major issue, which the government had not been able to control so far.

“The cement industry loses approximately 1 million tonnes of volume annually due to smuggled Iranian cement,” he added.

Quoting the new figures, he said that exports of cement during July 2016 were 465,102 tonnes against 465,369 tonnes during July 2015, showing a slight reduction of 0.06 percent.

“The manufacturing units situated in North region of the country registered growth both in local dispatches and exports at 9.85 percent and 11.82 percent, respectively, while the South region units recorded 26.15 percent local growth but faced decline of 17.02 percent in exports,” he explained.

Giving further details, the spokesperson said during July 2016, exports from North zone totaled 306,000 tonnes while exports from South zone stood at 159,000 tonnes.

“In July 2015, the exports from North were 274,000 tonnes and from South 192,000 tonnes,” he said, and added, “During July 2016, exports to Afghanistan dropped to 149,666 tonnes (-15.87 percent) compared to 177,900 tonnes during July 2015. Exports by sea also substantially reduced to 177,492 tonnes (-27.43 percent) during July 2016 against 244,590 tonnes during July 2015.”