LAHORE

Lamenting the declining trend in cement exports, the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association has said that huge quantity of Iranian cement is being imported with evasion of duty, badly affecting local market. Spokesman of APCMA said that political turmoil and poor law and order in Iraq has also slashed the import of cement from Iran while Azerbaijan that was one of the major importers of Iran's cement, has gained self-sufficiency and reduced import of cement from Iran. After losing major markets, Iran has surplus cement and Pakistani importers are lured to import this cement and are involved in tax evasion.

According to statistics, cement exports have registered a decline of 5.55 per cent from 5.29 million tons to 4.98 million tons during the first eight months of current fiscal year. Data shows that during the month of February 2015, cement exports showed substantial decline of 21.08 per cent, resulting in an overall nominal growth of 0.97 per cent compared to same month of last fiscal year. The overall domestic and exports volumes were 2,297,568 tons and 460,510 tons respectively during February 2015 compared to 2,148,083 tons and 583,480 tons during February 2014. The domestic sales in north during February 15 were 1,885,982 tons compared to the domestic sales of 1,778,418 tons during same month last year showing growth of 6.05 percent. The local sales in South during February 15 were 411,586 tons compared to the local sales of 369,665 tons during same month last year showing growth of 11.3 percent. Exports from southern units marginally increased to 209,461 tons during February 15 against 201,993 tons during February 14. However exports from north massively declined from 381,487 tons during February 14 to 251,049 tons during February 15 i.e. by 34.19 percent.