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Pakistan Cement sales up by 5% in July as Bestway Cement expands production


News Analysis |

Cement sales in Pakistan increased 5.1 percent in the first month of FY18-19. In July, total cement dispatches rose to 3.554Mt from 3.382Mt in July 2017, according to the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association. While in the wake of elections, economic and construction activity slowed down, it did not significantly affect sales growth.

Exports rose by 9.3 percent from 0.476Mt in July 2017 to 0.52Mt one year later while domestic dispatches were up 4.4 percent from 2.906Mt to 3.035Mt over the same period. Seaborne exports advanced 133.7 per cement from 0.144Mt in July 2017 to 0.336Mt in July 2018, offsetting declining exports to Afghanistan and India, which fell by 45 and 44.4 percent, respectively.

Exports that had been going down during 2008-2017 periods started steady recovery in the last couple of months and the trend continued in July

All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) recorded total cement dispatches at 3.382 million tons in the corresponding month a year earlier. APCMA’s spokesman said cement sector continued on its growth pattern at the start of the current fiscal year of 2018/19 despite the disruption caused by buzzing elections activities in the country.

“Generally, elections slow down economic and construction activities as factory workers go back to the places where they are registered as voters,” the industry’s official said. “But even the elections did not dent the growth.” In July, cement exports increased 9.25 percent to 0.520 million tons. They were recorded at 0.476 million tons in July 2017. Likewise, local cement sales rose 4.42 percent to 3.035 million tons during the last month.

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Cement sales were registered at 2.906 million tons in the corresponding month a year. The association’s spokesman said the growth in exports is consistent, “but it is higher due to the base effect”. “The domestic growth, albeit lower in percentage, is higher in terms of volume due to higher domestic sales,” he added. Exports that had been going down during 2008-2017 periods started steady recovery in the last couple of months and the trend continued in July.

Construction sector reported a nine percent annual growth in FY2018, which was in line with the average growth of the last five years. Pakistan’s 24 cement plants have a capacity of producing 47 million tons of clinker and 49 million tons of cement a year. The Local cement industry is massively investing in capacity enhancement. It planned to increase production capacity by 26 to 28 million tons to 72 million tons plus within the next two to three years.

Mr. Zameer Choudrey said that the company is on its way to becoming the leader in water conservation as BCL will be the first ones in the country to employ the Air Cooled Condenser Systems instead of the conventional water cooled systems.

Bestway Cement Limited (BCL) Pakistan’s largest cement manufacturer with an annual production capacity of 10.8 million tonnes inaugurated its sixth production line with 6000 tonnes per day capacity at Farooqia Plant. A colorful and grand ceremony was held at the plant premises to mark the occasion, honored by the presence of Minister of Commerce, Mian Misbah ur Rehman as a guest of honor.

The inaugural event was attended by Chinese Delegates from partner company Sinoma along with several other foreign and local dignitaries. The project to install this production line took 15 months that is a record time to date. The core team members were senior industry professionals at Bestway that lead this project by modern practices and continual capacity building of its dedicated team.

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For a capacity development of its staff, Bestway provides hands-on exposure along with classroom style training at all its plants enabling engineers to learn about state of the art technology, maintenance practices and world-class standards adhered at Bestway. While addressing the guests at the inauguration ceremony, Bestway Group’s CEO, Mr. Zameer Choudrey said that the company is on its way to becoming the leader in water conservation as BCL will be the first ones in the country to employ the Air Cooled Condenser Systems instead of the conventional water cooled systems.

They are also the only ones to start rain harvesting through the construction of big rain harvesting reservoirs in order to reduce dependence on underground water. Mr. Choudrey stressed that in doing so others will follow them and together they will be able to reduce the stress on ever depleting water resources of our country. The new production line is part of BCL’s efforts to enhance production capacity and staff capabilities.

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Bestway takes pride in being able to produce the widest range of innovative products according to local market demands as well as international clients and is well aware of the impact that CPEC projects will have, resulting in exponential growth in cement demand in the coming years in Pakistan.

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