LAHORE As bilateral relations are being improved the cement export to India has been showing an increase of 53.8 per cent to reach 0.16 million tons in the 1QFY12. That is why the two major cement plants, which are in close proximity to the sea port, earned a profit of Rs5.98 billion. However, it was being expected that the Pakistani cement export volume would show a momentous improvement, touching the figure of at least 1 million tons in the aftermath of the improving trade relations between Pakistan and India. According to cement manufacturers, there was no progress in cement exports by truck via Wagha Attari border which if opened, can substantially boost export volume. The All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) said that local cement sales improved due to increase in local consumption which witnessed a growth of 12.23 per cent during the first quarter of current fiscal year 2011-12. The cement manufactures of the Northern region have sold 4.23 million ton cement while Southern mills sales stood at 0.945 million ton in Jul-Sep 2011 period. The exports to different countries via sea route have dropped significantly by 24 percent as compared to 1QFY11, standing at 0.85 million ton in 1QFY12. The cement exports have shown a dismal performance as witnessed by a paltry 0.21 percent increase in the first quarter of the financial year 2012 as compared to corresponding period last year. According to the manufacturers, major factor behind limited exports is sharp increase in input cost as prices of almost all of major inputs like, furnace oil; coal and electricity etc. have surged during first quarter of this financial year. The transportation cost has also increased exorbitantly due to increase in diesel prices. Cost of power has increased by 9 percent during last three months from Rs. 7.1 per KWH to Rs. 7.7 per KWH with increasing load shedding and the situation seems set to become worse with expected further increase of Rs. 3.04 per KWH in power tariff. Rates of diesel, coal and furnace oil have also increased by 15, 8 and 28 percent respectively in first quarter of FY 2012 and the impact of this increase for the upcountry plants is much higher as these inputs have to be transported from Karachi. Gas rates have also increased during last 3 months by over 10 percent for cement plants and as well as their captive power units. During the financial year 2010-2011, 10 cement units suffered loss before taxation aggregating to Rs5.27 billion while only 7 cement units, of which 2 are located near Karachi in close proximity to the sea port, earned profit of Rs5.98 billion. At the end of last fiscal, industry debts to financial institution amounted to a staggering over Rs125 billion while the equity is Rs116 billion.