Higher taxes, rainy season hit cement sales

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KARACHI: Early monsoon and commencement of Ramazan in the second week of July, impacted cement consumption adversely in the first month of the new fiscal year 2013-14, as cement dispatches overall reduced by 7.84 percent.

A spokesman of All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association (APCMA) said the lower consumption could also be the outcome of higher taxes imposed in the budget and increase in transportation charges due to strict compliance of axle load restrictions on the cement carriers.

He said these increases coincided with the advent of Ramazan when pace of construction declines.

Local sales recorded major decline of 10.43 percent while exports reduced by 0.75 percent. The total cement despatches in the first month of this fiscal stood at 2.595 million tonnes against despatch of 2.816 million tonnes in July 2012.

The local sales amounted to 1.846 million tonnes of which, 1.506 million tonnes were despatched by mills located in the Northern region and 0.339 million tonnes from the South.

The industry during the corresponding month of last year despatched 2.060 million tonnes of cement.

The total exports in July 2013 amounted to 0.749 million tonnes against 0.755 million tonnes in July 2012. Exports from the North declined from 0.615 million tonnes in July 2012 to 0.525 million tonnes in the first month of this fiscal. The exports from South however, registered healthy increase from 0.139 million tonnes in July last year to 0.224 million tonnes in the same month of this fiscal.

The spokesman expressed hope sales would pick up in the coming months, however he urged the government to resolve the problem of high transportation cost to the industry.

Courtesy: Daily Times

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