Coronavirus impacts Pakistani cement trade

The exports of clinker and cement from Pakistan to Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and rest of the world have been impacted by the lockdown, curfew and other measures to stop the spread of the coronavirus in these countries. This was disclosed by Irfan Amanullah, senior general manager, Attock Cement Pakistan Ltd (ACPL), during a presentation of Cement Sector Outlook, organised by BMA Capital in Karachi.

He attributed the disruption due to a number of reasons and said no exports were being made to Afghanistan due to the closure of the border between both countries. Sri Lanka has curfew in place and even imposed a three-month ban on imports of bagged cement, due to the depreciation of the Sri Lankan currency with dollar. Exports to Bangladesh have also slowed, due to the persisting lockdown in the country. Exports to Qatar and other countries have also been affected.

However, he was optimistic that as soon as the fear of COVID-19 is disappeared or was overcome, normality would return to exports as well as to local dispatches.

Pakistan’s export of cement and clinker in FY20 to date stands at 6.446Mt. This includes exports of 3.2Mt of cement and 3.2Mt of clinker. The average price of cement ranges is US$55/t, while clinker sells at US$30/t.