All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers’ Association (APCMA) has reported that country saw a growth of 28 per cent in cement and clinker exports during the first eight months of the ongoing financial year 2019-20. It reached 5.939Mt in 8MFY19-20 and can be attributed to an increase in cement exports to Afghanistan and an unprecedented surge in clinker exports to the global market.
However, Pakistan’s Federal Bureau of Statistics is yet to release official data for the export of cement and clinker from Pakistan for the period of February/July – February 2019-29.
According to APCMA, cement exports to Afghanistan rose by 54.8 per cent to 1.737Mt 8MFY20, but exports to India remain suspended since last year. Cement exports from Pakistan to other international markets fell by three per cent to 1.297Mt. However, clinker exports continued to bode well, recording a growth of 100 per cent with dispatches of over 2.904Mt clinker.
Moving forward, the coronavirus pandemic has engulfed global trade and industry. Pakistan has closed its borders with Afghanistan and Iran in a bid to stop the spread of the virus and this has also suspended the export of cement from Pakistan to Afghanistan.
In addition, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is scheduled to announce its monetary policy today. The industry, including cement, is desperately expecting a reduction in the interest rate from 13.25 per annum following the impact of the coronavirus, slowdown in the world economy, little fall in inflation, etc. If is reduced, it would greatly benefit the industry on financing front in Pakistan.