Pakistan’s cement export volumes rise
Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Statistics (FBS) has released cement export data for the 12 months of July-June (2019-20). During this period, the quantity of cement exports increased but the dollar value fell, reflecting a weaker global market for cement and clinker in the aftermath of COVID-19.
Pakistan’s total exports (all commodities) decreased by 6.8 per cent during the FY19-20 to US$21.394bn against US$22.958bn in the corresponding period of last year, the PBS data revealed.
Pakistan’s cement industry earned US$259.44m of export revenue by exporting 7.103Mt of cement and clinker in the FY19-20, compared to US$271.72m from 6.411Mt of exports in the year-ago period. Thus shipping represents a 4.5 per cent decline in dollar terms, but reflects a growth of 10.8 per cent in quantity.
In local currency terms, the export value increased by 11.8 per cent YoY to PKR40.84bn (US$243.5m) from PKR36.55bn.
In June 2020, the negative trend continued in exports. Revenues slid to US$16.93m on the shipping of 535,682t from US$19.303m with exports of 608,054t in May 2020. This represents a contraction of 12.3 per cent and 11.9 per cent in terms of both value and quantity, respectively.
However, when compared with annual data from June 2019 (US$11.55m from 275,085t) the value of exports increased by 55.9 per cent YoY and 94.7 per cent in terms of quantity.
While clarifying the reason for the difference in export and local prices, Waleed Saigol, director of Maple Leaf Cement, said that Pakistan is competing against the whole world. Noting that there has been a lot of regional expansions recently, alongside a global slowdown in demand, which has placed intense pressure on prices.
He said, “we are usually exporting from the south of the country where they incur lower transportation costs while the north mostly exports regionally to Afghanistan and India.”
He further added that Pakistan mainly sells to importers. It is not easy for a company to build a network, especially for instance, in a country like Afghanistan. Despite this, Pakistan has developed brands with a strong presence in export markets through years of experience.
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