Cement despatches increased 6.2 per cent year-on-year to the record level of 33.88 million tonnes in the first 10 months of 2016-17, the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) reported on Friday.
Domestic consumption was 29.871m tonnes while exports remained 4.01m tonnes in the 10 months. A year ago, domestic consumption and exports were 26.973m tonnes and 4.928m tonnes, respectively. This means domestic consumption increased 10.74pc while exports declined 18.63pc on an annual basis.
With capacity utilisation of 92pc, cement companies despatched 3.576m tonnes in April. The share of northern and southern regions was 2.734m tonnes and 0.586m tonnes, respectively. Domestic consumption of cement last month surged 9.53pc while its exports fell 50.75pc, APCMA figures show.
North-based factories exported 181,911 tonnes of cement while south-based entities exported 0.074m tonnes. Exports to Afghanistan in April were 0.045m tonnes whereas exports to India and other countries were 0.131m tonnes and 0.081m tonnes, respectively.
A spokesman for the APCMA said in a statement exports at one time peaked around 10m tonnes, which have now declined by more than half.
He said the industry is operating on excess capacity and is regularly adding new units to keep abreast with the expected increase in construction activities.
Cement manufacturers are more interested in catering to the domestic market, but they have to dispose of excess capacities through exports, he said. If exports continue declining, new capacity additions will stop, he added.
The government has been informed about the impediments to exports, he said. Taking right steps can lead to a revival of exports, which provide the sector with a safe cushion against unforeseen problems, the spokesman said.