Lahore - Cement industry despatched 35.523 million tons of cement during July 2015 to May 2016 period which is 10.55 percent higher than the corresponding period of last fiscal year.

According to latest data, released by the All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association, the growth in cement consumption has been led solely by domestic consumption. Statistics shows that the overall domestic despatches in north based mills increased by 16.64 percent to 24.667 million tons and in south based mills by 23.7 percent to 5.37 million tons. In total, the domestic demand increased by 17.84 percent during the eleven months of current fiscal year. Quantitatively, total domestic despatches were 30.03 Million Tons from July 15 to May 16 compared to 25.49 Million Tons during same period of last fiscal year while exports dropped by 17.41 percent to 5.48 Million Tons during the first eleven months of current fiscal against 6.64 Million Tons during same period of last fiscal year.

Cement despatches to domestic markets during the month of May 2016 increased by 22.78 percent to 3.06 Million Tons compared with 2.49 Million Tons during same month last year. Exports during May 2016 were 558,000 Tons against 560,000 Tons during May, 15. Total despatches during May, 16 were 3.622 Million Tons compared to 3.056 Million Tons during same month last year showing increase of 18.52 percent. Zone wise figures show that the domestic despatches by mills located in North were 2.5 million tons compared with despatches of 2.04 million tons during same month last fiscal depicting a growth of 22.31 percent. In South the domestic despatches were 563,942 tons compared with despatches of 451,521 tons in May 2015 depicting a growth of 24.9 percent.

A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) said that increase in FED on cement is against the industry’s demand as we were seeking some reduction in taxes to further enhance domestic dispatches.

The proposed change in FED will increase the illegal trade in the form of smuggling of cement into the country. Federal excise duty on cement has been increased from 5 percent on retail price (i.e. Rs. 425 per ton) to Rs. 1000 per ton in the federal budget 2016-17. ‘The impact of this increase calculates to Rs. 34 per bag’, the spokesman added.

He appealed to the government to review its decision as this will not only affect the consumers but also the industry as we fear that due to high cement prices, the consumption will come down.