Pakistan: Capacity utilisation in the Pakistan cement industry has fallen to 68.3% in the first two months of the 2013 financial year, according to data released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA). The figure is the lowest since 2002.
Demand for cement declined during July 2012 and August 2012 due to Ramadan and heavy rains in the country. Total cement despatches declined by 1.64% in July and 2.82% in August.
Exports of cement have also started to decline in Pakistan since hitting a high of 11Mt in 2008-2009. In 2011-2012 exports were 8.57Mt. This decline has continued in 2012-2013 as exports fell year-on-year by 5.87% during July 2012 and August 2012 to 1.46Mt from 1.55Mt
Exports to India decreased by 38% in July 2012 and August 2012 to 75,800t. They have been declining since India and Pakistan opened their borders for liberal bilateral trade.
"The decline is not due to a lack of cement demand in India but because of very stringent non-tariff barriers erected by our neighbour," said the APCMA. It added that cement from Pakistan is preferred in India due to its better 'quality.'
Pakistan is unable to export larger quantities of cement to India due to trade barriers, labour shortages on the Indian side of the Wagah border crossing, and short supply of railway wagons. The APCMA has also blamed delays in cement plants registering for export licenses.
Exports to Afghanistan are also declining due to economic slowdown. Exports declined by almost 5% in July 2012 and August 2012.