Pakistan records highest capacity utilisation
11 june 2018
All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) has released data for the month of May, 2018, which showed capacity utilisation between July and May 2018 was at 94.69 per cent – the highest in Pakistan’s history since records began. The previous highest capacity utilisation was achieved in 1992-93, it reached 93.62 per cent.
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 per cent YoY. For the July 2017-May 2018 period, dispatches rose by 14.2 per cent to 42.92Mt when compared with 11MFY17-18 when they stood at 37.589Mt.
Total exports in 11MFY17-18 increased to 4.348Mt, posting a modest growth of 0.7 per cent as in the last few months, exports surged after devaluation of the Pakistani rupee in the last few months.
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 rise in exports is the decline in rupee value against dollar that improved 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 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 has a positive effect on multiple industries and thousands of job opportunities will be created with increase in construction,” he concluded.