News Analysis |
The export of cement from the country soared by 42.52 percent to $19.14 million in April 2018 from $13.4 million in same month a year ago, latest data of Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) reported.
According to the data, the export of cement on monthly basis also recorded an increase of 13.4 percent as during March 2018 the cement export was recorded at $16.88 million. During first 10 months (July-April) of the fiscal year 2017-18, the cement export witnessed a declining trend of 9.37 percent as compared to same period of the previous fiscal year.
During the period under review, 3.7million metric tons of cement valuing $185.7 million was exported as compared to the export of 3.88 MT cement worth of $204.95 million during July-April 2016-17. Meanwhile, the export of molasses surged by 215 percent during first 10 months of the current fiscal year to $16.84 million in July-April (2017-18) from $5.33 million in the same period of the preceding year.
Total exports in 11MFY17-18 increased to 4.348Mt, posting a modest growth of 0.7 percent as in the last few months, exports surged after devaluation of the Pakistani rupee in the last few months.
On the yearly and monthly basis, the molasses export in April 2018, also witnessed a sharp increase of 125 percent and 157 percent in April 2017 and March 2018 respectively. The molasses export increased from $1.38 million in April 2017 and $0.152 million in March 2018 to $3.128 million in April 2018.
The export of guar and guar products also increased by 26.76 percent as it rose to $30.06 million in July-April 2017-18 from $23.7 million in the same period of the previous fiscal year. On yearly basis, the export of guar and guar products in April 2018 recorded an increase of 2.03 percent as compared to the export worth of $3.6 million in April 2017.
While on the month-on-month basis, the export witnessed a decrease of 3.8 percent as it went down to $3.7 million in April 2018 from $3.8 million in March 2018. The overall merchandise exports of the country during first 10 months of the current fiscal year recorded an increase of 13.65 percent as compared to the exports during July-April 2016-17. The exports increased to $19.2 billion in July-April (2017-18) as compared to exports worth of $16.9 billion in the same period of the fiscal year 2016-17.
Meanwhile, All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has released data for the month of May 2018, which showed capacity utilization between July and May 2018 was at 94.69 percent – the highest in Pakistan’s history since records began. The previous highest capacity utilization was achieved in 1992-93, it reached 93.62 percent.
May’s data also indicated a dip in local dispatches, due to the reduction of working hours in the Holy month of Ramadan. During May the industry dispatched 3.919Mt of cement against 3.7Mt in May 2017, showing a growth of 5.7 percent YoY. For the July 2017-May 2018 period, dispatches rose by 14.2 percent to 42.92Mt when compared with 11MFY17-18 when they stood at 37.589 Mt.
Total exports in 11MFY17-18 increased to 4.348Mt, posting a modest growth of 0.7 percent as in the last few months, exports surged after the devaluation of the Pakistani rupee in the last few months.
During the period under review, 3.7million metric tons of cement valuing $185.7 million was exported as compared to the export of 3.88 MT cement worth of $204.95 million during July-April 2016-17.
An APCMA spokesman expressed hope that local cement consumption will once again rise after Ramadan while the continuous increase in exports is a welcome sign for the industry. However, he said that the major factor behind the rise in exports is the decline in rupee value against the dollar that improved the competitiveness of cement sector in the global markets.
APCMA urged the government to withdraw the recent increase in Federal Excise Duty (FED) which will hurt local consumption as this will have an impact of INR15/bag (US$0.13/bag), thereby raising the cost of construction.
“We have been demanding for years to abolish the FED as cement is not a luxury item, use of which should be encouraged,” the spokesman added. “Reducing FED to ‘Zero’ will give rise to construction activities which have a positive effect on multiple industries and thousands of job opportunities will be created with an increase in construction,” he concluded.