Pakistan: Losing cement market of Afghanistan

Byszheng

Updated Tue, 28 Apr 2015 09:33:49 GMT

The country is losing cement market of Afghanistan to its neighbouring countries of Iran and India, registering a significant fall of 25 percent in the commodity’s exports.

The data showed that cement exports registered a massive decline of 39 percent to 443,000 tons in March 2015 as against 726,000 tons in March 2014. Iranian cement makers along with their Indian counterparts have made inroads into Afghanistan.

Pakistan exported 2.06 million tons cement to Afghanistan in July-March FY15, as compared to 2.75 million tons in July-March FY14.

Average monthly cement sale was registered at 2.26 million tons in the first nine months of the current fiscal year as against 2.084 million tons/month in the corresponding period last fiscal year. However, monthly average export was down to 605,000 tons from 669,000 tons earlier.

APCMA spokesman said illegal cement import from Iran and tax evasion at import stage are affecting the cement industry.

“The cement quantity is found understated on the customs’ “Goods Declaration Form”, resulting in a substantial loss to the national exchequer,” he said. “Full taxes are not being paid on the import of Iranian cement.”

A road trailer entering Pakistan from Taftan border carries up to 60 tons of cement. A transporter issues two different weight loads receipts: one for the customs department and the other one, which is the actual one, for freight purposes. 

The association official believed that if taxes are fully paid, the price of Iranian cement is equal to local ones. Cement makers demanded of the government to take steps to stop illegal inflows of Iranian cement in Pakistan. They sought inclusion of cement in the negative import list.