Pakistani cement exports may shrink after Iran sanctions are lifted

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Pakistan/Iran: Pakistan's cement exports may drop by 10 – 15% at the start of 2016 as more Iranian cement will enter on the world market after sanctions have been lifted, according to Dawn.

Pakistani manufacturers will have to increase their export market destinations. However, local Pakistani cement industry officials believe that 'quality-conscious' countries like the UAE, India, Qatar and Sri Lanka may still prefer Pakistani cement as it is 'better' than its Iranian counterpart.

The officials are optimistic that the budget allocation for Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) may play a positive role in incrasing domestic cement consumption and may dilute to some extent the negative impact posed by the anti-dumping duty in South Africa on Pakistani cement and influx of Iranian cement on the international market. Around 60 – 65% of Iran's cement exports go to Iraq, 10 – 15% to Afghanistan and the remaining to other countries including Pakistan.

The removal of sanctions is not expected to aggravate competition in Afghanistan, as it is only feasible for Iranian producers to target the Kandahar region closer to the border. The main market for Pakistani producers is Kabul and Jalalabad, where Iranian cement will not be competitive due to the higher transportation cost.

Iran is the fourth largest manufacturer of cement in the world with a capacity of around 80Mt/yr. This capacity is set to rise in the next two years. The country's cement production stands at 66Mt/yr, around 84% capacity utilisation, out of which 28% is exported.

Last modified on 29 July 2015

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