The cement industry has urged Pakistan's government to increase custom duty on import of clinker to support the local manufacturers, as exports continue to decline.
The industry asks that importers register themselves with Pakistan Standards and Quality Control Authority (PSQCA) to certify the quality of their cement in line with the Indian government as well as all other importing countries' authorities.
High government energy levies have encouraged some unscrupulous elements to smuggle or import under-invoiced Iranian cement.
According to the data of APCMA, in first six months of this fiscal, domestic consumption stood at 19.83Mt. The continued decline in exports affected overall growth as exports dropped by 17.34 per cent during the same period this year. In December 2017, exports decreased by 11.25 per cent to 0.328Mt as compared to 0.369Mt in Dec last year, whereas local dispatches increased by 6.82 per cent from 3.185Mt in December 2016 to 3.403Mt in December 2017.
The exports from north region decreased by 8.14 per cent to 1.79Mt during July-Dec 2017 while exports from south based mills slipped by 36.23 per cent from 0.953Mt in July-December 2016 to 0.608Mt in July-Dec 2017.
Local producers report that exports are down not only because of high cost of doing business, but also due to carelessness of the regulators who are ignoring malpractices in imports.