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On cement industry in pakistan

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Analysis of Pakistani Cement Industry - A Report - Ravi Magazine

  • Cement industry is one of the few industries that existed in Pakistan before the partition of the sub-continent.

    The major reason for the existence of this industry is the availability of the raw materials.
    Pakistani Cement industry is divided into two large regions based on the geographic, namely Northern and Southern region. Overall, the industry comprises of 29 cement producing firms. 19 units are part of the Northern region and 10 units are part of Southern. The average production capacity of the industry is 44.09 million tons. The northern region is responsible for 80% of the production capacity i.e 35.18 million tons while the southern region is responsible for the remaining 20% i.e 8.89 million tons. Cement domestic market demand is of 19 million tons. Out of the 29 firms 6 occupy the major market share of the industry. Not all firms manufacture the four types of cement available in the domestic market. Following is the domestic market share distribution analysis.

    Pakistan has inexhaustible reserves of limestone and clay, which can support the industry for another 50-60 years. The annual production of the cement at the time of the creation of Pakistan was only 300000 tones per year.
    Cement industry is a huge industry having its presence worldwide. The major players occupying the largest market share are China, India and USA. There respective market shares with regard to production capacity 2010 are 54%, 7% and 2% respectively. Other cement producers and exporters include Turkey, Brazil, Japan, Iran, Spain, Vietnam having 2% market share and Pakistan, Thailand, Germany, Mexico, Italy, Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Korea, Egypt, Russia, with 1% market share.

    By 1954 the production increased to 660000 tonnes per annum against a demand of 1000000 tonnes per annum. At this time PIDC took initiative and established two cement factories Zealpak (240,000 tonnes) and Maple Leaf (100,000 tonnes) having a capacity of 340000 tones, thereby increasing the production to 1000000 tonnes per annum.
    Factors having an significant effect on the local demand of cement in Pakistan include Increase in population growth, urbanization, decrease in interest rate, political and economical stability and seasonal variations.

    Since then besides expansion of the existing plants, new plants have also established. Besides producing OPC, the Pakistani cement industry also started producing SRC, Slag cement and white cement.

    In 1921 the first cement plant was established at WAH.

    Current Senario And Future Outlook: For the past four years or so Pakistan cement industry has experienced stagnant sales resulting in financial losses but it soon bounced back recently with earning net profit of Rs 4.300 million in the first half of 2011 and 2012. According to the recent reports there are shown record levels of domestic sales and exports with increases as much as 8.84% and 3.45% respectively. Domestic sales of cement are likely to flourish and remain consistent as the federal budget 2012-2013 has lowered the excise duty to Rs 200 per ton and GST by 1%. Moreover cement demand in Pakistan is forecasted to increase by 20% in coming years as major development projects are in pipeline both funded by government and private sector e.g mega water and power project including Diamer Bhash multipurpose and two Chashma nuclear power projects and 56 housing and work projects under Public Sector Development Program etc.

    At the time of independence in 1947 there were four cement factories with an installed capacity of 470,000 tonnes per annum. These units were located at Karachi, Rohri, Dandot and WAH. In 1956 PIDC established two plants at Daudkel and Hyderabad and subsequently more plants were established in the private sector.
    Majors sectors of Pakistan which demand cement usage include Housing/building sector having 40% demand, Private building construction sector, Government development projects like dams, roads etc.

    NATIONALIZATION

    The industry was nationalized in 1972 and the State Cement Corporation of Pakistan (SCCP) was established following the Economic Reforms Order, 1972. As a result of nationalization, a total of 10 cement units with an installed capacity of 2.8 million tonnes per annum were transferred to the SCCP. Effective price control was also vested with the SCCP and for a long time the industry operated under a regime of strict regulation and price control.

    Reduction of uncertainties and business risks: The problem of uncertainty and business risk is always in any kind of business. The political factor affects so many business firms to risks and uncertainties. Industry must find their business operations, where there is less uncertainty. New growth areas, of course, face the problem of unproven cost structure, a lot of uncertainty with the potential size of the market, how much time and money required for technology adoption. Competition in the international market is also affected by the lower risks to the business and industry uncertainty.

    While the cement industry was working under the state control, the SCCP established five new units with an installed capacity of 1.8 million tonnes per annum. For the next fifteen years no new cement plant was established under the private sector, which resulted in acute shortage of cement in late 70s and early 80s.
    Generally cement is used for construction purposes and is divided into two broad categories based on its properties, mainly Hydraulic and non-Hydraulic. Although the use of all variety of cement has changed over recent years and only certain forms are still used, but despite that a wide variety of cement can be created by blending different proportions of gypsum, clinker and other materials together. Following are the variety of cement available in the international market: Portland cement, Portland cement blend, Portland blast furnace cement, Portland Fly ash cement, Portland Pozzolan Cement, Portland Silica Fume Cement, Masonry Cement, Expansion Cement, White Blended Cement, Colored Cement, very finely ground cement, Pozzolan-line Cement, Slag-lime Cement, Super sulfated cements, Calcium aluminate cements, Calcium sulfoaluminate cements, Natural Cements, Geopolymer cements and Sulphate resistance cement.

    This gap was filled by the import of cement. Severe shortage of cement and price deregulation prompted the private sector to establish more plants. Seven units were established in the private sector before commencement of the process of privatization in 1991.
    Following display depicts the life cycle of cement industry in international market and in Pakistani market.

    PRIVATIZATION/ DEREGULATION

    During the regime of Nawaz Sharif the industry went through major transformation. As a part of its privatization policy, the Government of Pakistan, has privatized 8 cement plants since 1992.
    Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation (PTC) took over the operations and functions from Pakistan Telephone and Telegraph Department under Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Act 1991. This coincided with the competition policy of the government to encourage the private sector and as a result of the issuance of licenses for mobile, payment cards, telephones, paging and, more recently, the data communication services.

    Due to privatization the SCCP lost its control over the prices of the cement and as a result new cement plants were established under private sector. The units working under the SCCP control are old and inefficient using “wet process” whereas the units established in the private sector are new, efficient and use “dry process”.
    Initially, one of the state corporations (SOEs), PTCL stake was reduced to 62%, when 26% of the shares, and the control was sold to Etisalat Telecommunications and the remaining 12% to the public in 2006 under the privatization program intensify.

    At present there are more than 28 cement plants in Pakistan with installed capacity of over 19.5 million tonnes per annum. The present demand for cement in Pakistan is around 9.5 million tonnes per annum.

    MANUFACTURING PROCESS

    COMPOSITION OF CEMENT

    Pakistan is a country rich in deposits of limestone, shale and gypsum, which are the main ingredients for the production of cement.

    Lucky Cement Limited is sponsored by Yunus Brothers Group (YB Group), one of the largest business groups of the country, based in Karachi and Pezu (NWFP), has grown remarkably over the last 50 years. Lucky Cement rose in 1996. They have the largest cement production with a production capacity of 7.75 million tons. LCL also the first exporter and Pakistan's largest cement is loose and the only cement manufacturer charging and storage terminal at Karachi. Other exclusive features that allow cement fortunate to stand before its competitor is the transportation fleet of 77 bulkers as well as two ship loaders.

    The mining costs for these deposits come to only about Rs. 100 per tonne or approximately 6% of total manufacturing cost. Thus cement is an extremely “value-added” product and must be given its due importance.
    APCMA: All Pakistan Cement Manufacturing Association established in 1992 is the regulatory body of cement manufactures in Pakistan.

    The chemical composition of cement is as under:

    1. CaO 70%
    2. SiO2 23%
    3. Al2O3 04%
    4. FE2O4 03%

    Gray cement manufacture consists of about 73% limestone and 25% clay. The amount of gypsum that is added to the clinker may be taken at 4%. About 1.23 tones of limestone, 0.31 tones of clay and 0.04 tones of gypsum are required for producing one tone of cement. In case of gas fired kiln about 50000 to 60000 cubic feet of gas is required for a tonne of cement.

    Here both PTCL and Lucky Cement are dominant players in their respective industries. Their success being able to grasp industry change agents and plan accordingly. They have maneuvered according to industry changes and are anticipating future progress. They have strategized their processed and are moving in a right direction to achieve their mission and hence vision.

    For the production of slag cement, blast furnace slag is also used and for the production of sulphate resistant cement sand and iron ore are also used.

    TYPES OF CEMENT

    The five types of cement manufactured in Pakistan are

    1. Ordinary Portland Cement (OPC)
    2. Slag Cement.
    3. Sulphate Resistant Cement (SRC)
    4. Super Sulphate Resistant Cement (SSRC)
    5. White Cement.

    MANUFACTURING PROCESS

    The manufacturing process can be of any of the 3 types:

    1. Wet Process; an obsolete method of manufacturing due to poor kiln heating and large water requirements.
    2. Semi-Wet Process; not popular due to high levels of fuel and energy consumption and suited for materials with extreme elasticity. Quite obsolete.
    • Dry Process; suitable for materials with low moisture content. Low fuel usage as compared to the wet process, less maintenance requirements, higher kiln efficiency due to pre- heating facility and low kiln setup and maintenance costs.

Two main methods of cement manufacturing are prominent, the dry process and the wet process.

Mission: Lucky Cements mission to be premium cement manufacturer by building a professional organization, a technologically state-of-the-art, and identifying new customers around the world to reach and maintain the service quality standards to cater to the needs of the international construction with an environment-friendly approach.

Dry process now has almost replaced the wet process since wet process consumes high thermal energy for drying the moisture. In dry process the rock is the principal raw material, the first step after quarrying is the primary crushing.
Customer Focused: By providing quality, consistent and fair procedures.

Mountains of rock are fed through crushers capable of handling pieces as large as an oil drum. The first crushing reduces the rock to a maximum size of about 6 inches. The rock then goes to secondary crushers or hammer mills for reduction to about 3 inches or smaller.
Cellular segment, the second largest cellular provider in Pakistan, Ufone GSM-based 800/1900 technology, also a subsidiary of PTCL.

It is then ground in ball mill to fine powder with other ingredients like clay/iron ore/bauxite to create a combination of values for silica/alumina/lime etc in the mixture. The ground powder is then sent to blending silos for uniform mixing of components added during the grinding stage.
Cement industry in Pakistan is a very important component of Pakistan's Industrial sector. It plays a pivotal role in its socio-economic development. Due to the current boom in industrial and commercial construction in Pakistan, the Cement industry is operating at the maximum output. Despite the large variety of cement availability in the international market, Pakistan has been producing only four types of cements namely Ordinary Portland cement, Portland Blast Furnace Slag Cement, Sulphate Resistance Cement and White Cement.

This blended material is feed to the preheater / calciner. The preheater is a group of cyclones placed over one another where in material comes down and hot gases goes up heating the material and calcining it in the process.
Globalization is happening as it be seen an increased customer and their requirements in different countries, Government measures to reduce trade barriers. Europe, Latin America and Asia, Significant changes in the cost of labor -> location of plants, for example, China, India, Singapore, Mexico, the U.S., Germany and Japan, where there is cheap labor costs, Achieving economies of scale is very difficult, because the company's competitors to sell their products in many countries.

The only difference between dry process and the wet process is that in the later on the crushed raw material is ground with water to form the slurry. This slurry is then filtered and pumped to the kiln and the rest of the process is exactly the same as that of the dry process.

SPECIFICATION

British standard Specification # 12 are followed in Pakistan.

Tele-density also referred to as telephone density is the no. of telephone connections for every hundred individuals living within a specified area.

For a good quality cement initial setting time should not be less than 45 minutes and the final setting time should not be more than 10 hours, all existing cement plants in Pakistan meet these quality criteria.
Oligopolistic Competition exists in the Pakistani cement industry, but cartel formations are also witnessed.

IMPACT OF PROCESS ON COST

The process used has a major impact on the cost structure of the company. Using old and out-dated forms of technology not only effect the overall quality of the final product but result in higher maintenance costs, more replacement of parts etc.

Change in technology and innovation of the production process: Changes in technology could lead the industry to change its business processes dramatically. Technology changes a consequent impact on the industry value chain, we assume that the industry caused a change in technology has to change its production process through the adoption of innovative technologies and process changes eventually change the supply chain in the industry.

and the result is less competitive prices in both the domestic and foreign markets. We can see that Indian cement is sold at lesser prices since they have been able to cut back on their costs of production.
In industry, Cement prices are similar, no obvious rather little product differentiation.

This has been done by lowering energy costs via reliance on coal rather than furnace oil for running and operating their processes.

MARKET SEGMENTATION

MAJOR PLAYERS:

The key players in the industry, which attained billion rupees mark (in sales) in 1998, are listed below:

Name of the Company Sales (in billions of Rupees)

Fauji cement 1.401

D.G. Khan Cement 1.045

Cherat Cement 1.302

Fecto Cement 1.098

Dadabhoy Cement 1.000

MARKET SEGMENTATION

The cement market in Pakistan is divided into two zones: the North zone and the South zone.

In 1995, the Pakistan Telecommunication (reorganization) of the order form the basis of PTCL monopoly over basic telephony in the country. Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited was formed and listed on all stock exchanges in Pakistan. PTCL launched its mobile and data services subsidiaries in 2001 and the name of Ufone and PakNet respectively.

The North zone includes Punjab, Azad Kashmir, N.W.F.P. and the upper region of Baluchistan. The remaining area of the Baluchistan and entire Sindh constitute the Southern zone.

Historically the Northern zone has faced an under-supply situation while the Southern zone has experienced over-supply situation.

The dissemination of technical know-how: Basically it is a firm that has a high quality of expertise has a comparative advantage over their competitors. Know-how skills are often urged to industry, which is capital intensive and that has more on the basis of technology (machines). Know how to always require skills in the industry of automobile, tires, consumer electronics, telecommunications and computers. Technology transfer has become one of the most important driving force in the globalized marketing and competition.

The demand of the Northern zone was used to be met by the production of the Southern zone. After the establishment of new plants especially D.G. Cement (with a capacity of over 1 million tonnes per annum) the Northern region has also become almost self sufficient in the cement the province-wise distribution of cement plants is given below

The cement industry is very unevenly distributed in the country with a vast difference in capacity and production as can be seen in the following tables.

Increasing Globalization: Industry is moving towards globalization. Businesses with long-term strategy can move from regional> National> multinational> International> Globalization (worldwide). Global competition begins, and it allows a business to increase their presence in each market, otherwise it will have to turn off your business. Production activity transfer / migrate to other countries where there is a low production cost. Global competition rises between market leaders and market followers.

The number of plants is less than double in the south zone as compared to those in the north but total production in the latter region is nearly 3 times that in the former area. Even then all units charge the same price when in reality their technology, layout, product range and efficiency differs.
Growing buyer preferences differentiated products rather than commodity products: This is always in favor of the firm, which has a loyal customer or brand awareness. In order to keep loyal customers of the company should have to come up with differentiated products instead of the commercial product. Changes in consumer preferences change the pattern of behavior as a buyer retaining and attracting new existence can be profitable for the firm.

This implies a misuse of cartel power exerted by the APCMA.

Province

# of Units

Capacity (Mil.Ton)

Portland Gray

Slag

White

Total

Sindh

8

3.364

3,369

330

45

3,774

Punjab

12

7.894

7,894

-

30

7,924

NWFP

5

4.351

4,351

-

-

4,351

Baluchistan

2

0.723

723

-

-

723

Islamabad

1

0.990

990

-

-

990

Total

28

17.312

17,327

330

75

17,732

SOUTH ZONE PLANTS

COMPANY

LOCATIONCAPACITY (million tonnes/annum)EFFECTIVE CAPACITY (million tonnes/annum)

REMARKS

AttockHub0.7560.756-
JavedanKarachi0.6300.315Partially closed
PaklandKarachi0.9450.787-
DadabhoyNooriabad0.5040.472-
EssaNooriabad0.4720.472-
ThattaThatta0.3150.315-
Zeal PakHyderabad1.0580.567Partially closed
ACC RohriRohri0.241-Wet plant closed
TOTAL 4.9213.648-

COMPANY

LOCATIONCAPACITY (million tonnes/annum)EFFECTIVE CAPACITY (million tonnes/annum)

REMARKS

AWT Wah
Wah0.9450.945-
D.G. KhanD.G. Khan1.7321.732-
Maple LeafDaud Khel1.031.039Wet lines closed
PioneerKhushab0.6300.630-
DandotDandot0.5040Plant closed
FectoIslamabad0.6300.630-
CheratNowshera0.7870.787-
MustahkamHattar0.6600Plant closed
KohatKohat0.5670.567-
GharibwalGharibwal0.5670.567Wet Plant
FaujiTaxila0.9450.945-
LuckyPezo1.2601.260-
Best WaysHattar1.0391.039-
AskariNizampur0.6300.630-

TOTAL

12.4310.771-

PERFORMANCE

At present KSE has 21 companies in the cement sector on its list. Total paid up capital of these companies stood at Rs. 15.584 billion and the net worth at Rs. 24.947 billion. Total sales of these companies stood at Rs. 14.589 billion. At present all companies are showing losses.

Changes in the industry long-term growth: This is one of the main driving forces of the industry. Offset industry growth up or down is a driving force for change in the industry, and it affects different sectors of supply and customer demand. Entering and leaving the competition in the industry, also affects the growth rate. To constant growth of the industry should come up with a flexible strategic goal and put hard efforts to meet it. It is always important for the industry to have a strategic plan to achieve long-term growth, because only the presence is not important, but having the stability is vital as well.

According to APCMA the industry as a whole incurred a loss of Rs. 2.786 billion during six months period of 1998-99 as compared to Rs. 2.836 billion of 12 months period of last year.

An adverse development in the sector is the deterioration in the EPS.

Functional Description:

Driving forces make industries flexible, because the life force behind the wheel of industry participants (customer, supplier or competitor) is to manage their plans and actions. These drivers cause an industry to change, to come up with plausible environment. It has a big influence on how the industry landscape will be changed.


The total sales of all cement companies have decreased from Rs. 15379 million in 95-96 to Rs. 13118 million in 96-97. The accumulated loss incurred by the cement plants increased from Rs 1026 billion in 96-97 to Rs. 2.836 billion in 97-98. The poor performance of the sector is mainly due to the excess supply situation.
As there is lack of research and development culture in Pakistan's telecom sector, PTCL can initiate this culture by building technology locally.

All this resulted in deterioration in the General index of share prices of cement as shown below

General Index of Share Prices

(1990-91 as base year)

Year Share prices

1994-95 496.82 1995-96 225.24 1996-97 146.56 1997-98 67.26 1998-99 68.41 1999-2000 66.37

The profitability of the sector was further affected by the increase in the prices of fuel power and packaging material that consists 70-80 % of the total production cost.

Pakistan Cement industry has seen experienced considerable growth since last decade due to increase no of new development projects both is public and in private sector. Growth rate was 2.9% from1990-2001 and is 20% since 2003-2010.

In the last budget the sales tax was lifted and the excise duty was increased from 35-40% of the retail price. In order to provide support to the industry the government allowed the export of cement via sea allowed draw back of 12.5%. The permission to export 3 million tones of cement has given some breathing to the crisis stricken cement industry.
Pakistani cement industry accounts for being the 5th largest exporter of the world.

DEMAND

The demand and supply situation in the cement industry has tilted sides during the last few years. Until 1996 there had been a shortage of supply as compared to the demand, but then there has been a consistent demand shortage due to new units being set up, converting the sellers market into a buyers market.

PTCL should focus on improving its services, to sustain its competitive edge and new product demands e.g they can improve the signal problem encountered by there V-phone users. Signals strength is a concern for PTCL, as they are not available is all parts of Karachi.

The demand for cement has grown at a steady rate of 8% in the northern region while 4% in the southern region. The way the new plants are being set up and the existing plants are undertaking expansion. The demand and supply situation is bound to create surpluses.
Changes in cost and efficiency: It is always important for the industry have the advantage of low cost supplier. When it comes to the purpose of any business purpose, everyone has a low cost of production and efficiency. Production on the economy of scale is acceptable. E-tailing can have a lower cost in comparison to the brick-and-mortar retailers.

Over the last ten years, cement consumption has grown unequally in the two marketing segments. The pace of industrialization, infrastructure development and urbanization in the North has prompted a higher growth rate of 7-10 % in the North as compared with 4% in the South.

PTCL has laid Fibre optic access network in the major urban centers of Pakistan and the local cycle began modernized and upgraded from copper to optical network. For long distance and international parties to the infrastructure capacity of two SEA-ME-WE submarine cable is being expanded to meet the growing demand for international transport.

50% demand comes from the private housing and real estate activity, while 40% comes from government infrastructure projects. The industrial sector generates the remaining 10%. Private housing and real estate activity have slowed due to a high inflation rate that has led to lower savings. This coupled with fraudulent practices of the builders and real estate brokers has shattered the public’s confidence. In view of the lack of government funds and regional disparities surrounding large infrastructure projects such as Ghazi Barotha project, the cement demand is expected to remain low.

PTCL is the largest telecommunications provider in Pakistan. PTCL also continues to be the largest CDMA-operator in the country with 0.8 million V-Fone customers. The company maintains a leading position in Pakistan as an infrastructure of other operators and corporate customers across the country.

Especially the government expenditure in the construction sector has decreased by about 29%.

The present crisis in the cement sector first emerged in 1995. Until 1992, the government’s active control over the cement sector through State Cement Corporation had dept private investment in the sector to a minimum.

Vision: Lucky Cement envisions to be the leader of the cement industry in Pakistan, and wants to identify and exploit new opportunities in the global market, and contributed to industrial progress and sustainable future, while being responsible corporate citizens.

This sale of state-owned units to private sector in 1992 led to price deregulation. The rising margins attracted fresh private investment, which resulted in an exorbitant increase in capacity from 8.2 million tonnes in 1992 to 17 million tonnes in 1998. The huge addition in the capacity of the cement industry is heavily responsible for the current strife in the cement sector of Pakistan.
Export markets of Pakistan cement industry include Afghanistan, India, African countries, Middle Eastern counties and Iraq.

This increase in capacity increased the competition between the producers, but with the rising cost of production they couldn’t keep themselves competitive. The rising overheads could no longer be afforded in a tight industry and eventually an industry with redundant capacity and heavy losses found its way into the already troubled Pakistani economy.
Regulating effect and changes in public policy: The role of the state regulators can often cause significant changes in industry practices and policy approaches. The role of SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) in the financial market of Pakistan is very important. When the SBP will announce changes in monetary policy, it is actually showing the industry to change its in production. If the garden is on an expansionary monetary policy, it really wants to expand the money supply will grow the economy and encourage foreign investors to invest in Pakistan.

The situation has further aggravated as demand failed to grow at the same pace at which it was growing at the time of starting of the new cement projects. The slowdown in the economy has led to a decline in growth for the housing sector, which accounts for a major part of total consumption.

Relevant literature has been obtained from various sources. Google was the most prominent source. Business recorder website enlightened about the current trends. Company websites were also consulted to get annual reports. Industrial data was obtained from FBR and State Bank websites to obtain economic surveys. Strategic management book by Strickland was also consulted for understanding of the Driving forces.

The problem has compounded by the decline in government development expenditure. As a result of all this the demand has declined over the past few years.

SUPPLY

The supply of the cement became out of the control of the government with the privatization of the government owned units in the early nineties.

Companies in cement sector can opt for backward integration and become their own supplier of good quality indigenous coal, which is imported at a higher cost from countries like Indonesia, China and South Africa, to minimize energy cost.

The demand for the cement was particularly high in the eighties from the housing sector as the remittance form the Gulf was used to build homes by the expatriate Pakistanis. Now with the changing scenario from the Gulf and a decrease in the trend of the Pakistanis to heavily invest in real estate is changing the trend, resulting in serious decrease in demand of cement.
Following table gives a summarized description of types of cement produced globally and in Pakistan.

The serious mistake on the part of the cement manufactures to accurately estimate the demand of the cement has hit hard on the cement manufactures. The result is the present scenario with excess capacity and lack of demand.

The demand of the cement is now increasing at a much slower pace then it was before, now the supply of the cement in the market is being controlled by the cartel of the cement makers association (APCMA).

Further cement industry can divulge into producing some more varieties of cements and reach out to the un-tap markets in the international arena.

Since its inception APCMA is deciding upon the price of the cement to be offered to the public. A comparison of the demand and supply of the cement over the years is shown below:

YEAR94-9595-9696-9797-9898-99
DEMAND8.79.69.59.19.5
SUPPLY8.39.59.69.810.4

The supply of the cement doesn’t exceed the demand of the cement by a big margin, but the capacity that has been installed by the cement industry far exceeds the demand of the cement. Rather the cement capacity is approximately double then the demand.

Achievements: Lucky Cement has been awarded as the Top Sales, Income tax Payer, Exporter and Imported. They were also awarded with National CSR Excellence Award, Brand of the Year Award and Annual Environment Excellence Award.

Over and above that, the profitability of the industry has been hit hard by the increase in the cost of inputs, which include furnace oil, power and packaging material. These constitute about 60% of the total cost of production, which the producers have been unable to pass to the consumers.
Competitor: DG Khan Cement, Maple Leaf Cement, Fauji Cement, Best Way Cement and all the small producers and exported of cement in Pakistan.

Demand of the cement has a high correlation with a GDP, coefficient of correlation found to be 93%.

Factors, which can possibly change the surplus position into a near equilibrium between demand and supply, are:

  • APCMA actions to avoid price decline
  • Delay in implementation of planned additions and expansions
  • Efforts to export cement
  • Increase in demand if construction of huge mega-size projects starts.

CAPACITY UTILIZATION

The cement industry is very unevenly distributed in the country with a vast difference in capacity and production as can be seen in the following tables.

Changes in who buys the product and how they use it: This is important for the industry term target their market in accordance with the buyer demographics. Changes in customer requirements affect the picture or substitute products or differentiated products. Industry needs to have information about their customers, as well as on how the market will react if there is a need for change in the product industry should add features to the product to maintain its existence, the buyer.

The number of plants in the North Zone is double in number to those in the South Zone. The following two tables will give the zonal effective capacity, percentage capacity utilization, consumption and the prevailing gaps between demand and supply in the two production zones.
Per Capita consumption of cement in Pakistan has increased considerably over the recent years. It has increased two folds from 75kg in yr 2003 to 145kg in yr 2011. Overall world average consumption is 270kg.

It shows both the actual present scenario and future estimates. These tables give the effective capacity of the operating unit in the cement sector.

NORTH ZONE (million tonnes)
YearEffective CapacityCapacity UtilizationLocal ConsumptionSurplus/(Deficit)
1999-200010.77175%8.0782.693
2000-200111.40477%8.8052.599
2001-200211.40485%9.5971.807
2002-200311.40492%10.4610.943
2003-200411.404100%11.4040
2004-200511.404109%12.429(1.025)

SOUTH ZONE (million tonnes)

YearEffective CapacityCapacity UtilizationLocal ConsumptionSurplus/(Deficit)
1999-20003.68475%2.7630.921
2000-20013.59180%2.9010.690
2001-20024.15873%3.0461.112
2002-20034.15877%3.2000.958
2003-20044.15880%3.3580.800
2004-20054.15885%3.5260.632

As we can see from the above tables in the South Zone the surplus supply situation is expected to continue for as long as the next 5 years. Also capacity utilization is not estimated to reach even 90% much less full capacity utilization of the plants. The question that then arises is what then is the reason for the extensive expansion projects and the setting up of new plants when existing plant capacities create an over supply situation before attaining full capacity levels of production.

Marketing Innovation: The successful organization always comes up with various marketing tools in order to maintain existing customers and new customers by meeting their needs. Let the industry acceptance of advertising (one of the marketing tools) to promote their product, the industry should advertise it so that it's right to attract a buyer. Attach feelings buyers, emotions and values ​​in the product attribution.

The reason lies in the growing export potential for cement manufacturers and all of them want to capture a sizeable share before their competitors do.

As per the figures available the total production of cement during the year 97-98 was about 9.8 million tonnes as compared to production of 9.5 million tonnes production the preceding year. The total installed capacity of all the 28 cement units in Pakistan comes to about 17.312 million tonnes. The actual production of these units during 98-99 was about 10.3 million tonnes.

New projects are being undertaken in the cement sector.

Although the Telecommunication industry is at the maturity stage around the world, in Pakistan it is still growing and is close to maturity. The reason being, all the industry segments are not fully targeted and latest technology accessibility across Pakistan is still no achieved yet.

The capacity of these projects is estimated somewhere between eight and nine million tonnes. The existing plants are also increasing their capacity, which comes to about 4.030 million tonnes. Thus the total capacity of the existing and upcoming projects would be as follows:

CAPACITY OF CEMENT PLANTS

Status No. Capacity (M Tonnes)

Existing Plants 28 19.143

Expansion - 4.030

New Projects 9 9.670

INPUT COST STRUCTURE

PRICE OVERVIEW

The cement price has seen a very unrealistic trend over the past two years, where the price per kg of cement has increased by about Rs. 2. Price of 50-kg bag rose from Rs. 140 in October 1998 to Rs. 240 in January 1999. The APCMA (All Pakistan Cement Manufacturers Association) was directed by the Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) to cut back on this unreasonable increase in prices and a show-cause notice was issued.

Following table shows increase in the Telecommunication industries contribution to Pakistan's GDP.

This increase in price by the APCMA was viewed as a monopoly practice. APCMA had a standpoint that the previous price set at Rs. 140 was not justified by any means as the costs associated have increased drastically leaving the operations almost impossible at the old prices.

The debate went on for a while and the APCMA failed to produce any valid explanations thereby earning a penalty imposed on them by MCA.

Innovative product: This is one of the key concepts of marketing. Innovation means to come up with creative / innovative product. This is a key driving force pushing the industry trend up or down, because we know, the concept of the pioneers became pioneers will always be either favorable or unfavorable to the industry again depends on the firm's strategy making.

Government of Pakistan, however, considered APCMA’s point valid and assured them some relaxation in this concern.

Due to this drastic increase in prices, the construction sector was badly affected and turned down most of its operations.

Increasing their share of international market by expanding their horizon and their work is not routine resource markets.

The Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) protested and demanded from the government to cut the prices back to Rs. 140 per bag. They warned of Rs. 1 billion investment in housing-sector going to waste if the issue was not resolved soon. As an immediate affect of the slowdown in construction sector some 3000 to 4000 civilians went out of job.
Telecom industry of Pakistan is divided into six segments namely Cellular, Fixed/ Land Line, Fixed wireless local loop (WLL), Payphones, Voice Over IP, Internet sector (Cable net and Dial up, Broadband & DSL, Wireless connections , WiMAX (Wireless internet access).

MCA finally gave out its word on the issue and ordered a cut back to original price of Rs. 140 immediately. The order, however, was challenged by APCMA in the court of law, and thus not observed.

The government has offered several incentives to the cement manufactures considering their demands to be valid.

Cement exports are ranked 10th in the Pakistan export components list.

MCA on the other hand is of the view that the prices of the inputs for cement manufacturing have not increased after 1997, and thus there is no point to increase the prices. The present price is around Rs. 228/bag.

A relationship of price to the cost is given in the figure.

COST STRUCTURE

The cement manufacturing involves several raw materials used in different proportions.

Mission: PTCL wants to achieve this vision, which are: organizational environment that fosters professionalism, motivation and quality of the environment, that is cost-effective and quality-conscious, service, based on the most optimal technologies, "Quality" and "Time" conscious customer service , sustained revenue growth and profitability.

The main raw material consists of limestone, gypsum, silica etc. Each tonne of cement requires about 1.7 tonnes of limestone (80 % by volume), gypsum, and silica. All these components of raw material are easily available in Pakistan, therefore are cheap.
Change in social issues, relationships, and lifestyle: Social issues and the changes in attitude and lifestyle is a powerful indicator of the industry changes. We know that society plays a vital role in any business context. We as citizens of Karachi are after the Western culture and, therefore, to make our industry to change the traditional way of life in the Western way of life.

Raw material has a very trivial share in the total cost structure and therefore doesn’t affect it much either.

The other inputs include fuel (furnace oil), packaging, power (electricity), and other expenses. The major part of the cost is claimed by fuel, power, and packaging, i.e. about more than 46 % of the total cost. Any fluctuation in the prices of these three inputs has a very significant effect on the over all cost. A breakup of different input cost in the overall cost structure of a 50-kg bag of cement is given below.

ItemsRs. (per bag)
Raw material4.46
Packing material12.94
Fuel28.59
Power22.84
Salaries and Wages7.25
Stores4.15
Mfg. & Selling Overhead7.61
Operating cost87.84
Financial expenses30.83
Total Cash Cost118.67
Depreciation20.05
Total cost per bag138.72

Another important cost consideration is the process employed by the unit to produce cement. The manufacturing process can be of any of the 3 types:

  • Wet Process

  • Semi-Wet Process

  • Dry Process

COST/PRICE RELATION

The cement manufacturers advocate their point based on the increase in the prices of inputs. According to APCMA, the increase in cement prices is attributed to the following events:

  • A 90 % increase in prices furnace oil over February 96 to February 97;
  • 85 % increase in electricity charges over July 94 to July 97,
  • 79 % increase in prices of paper bags during November, 1994 to December 1997
  • A 128 % increase in excise duties over July 1992 to June 1997.

FURNACE OIL PRICES IN THE RECENT YEARS:

Furnace oil prices rose by 112% in 1997 as the government decided to annex furnace oil prices to international oil prices such that they came to about Rs.6297 in 1997 from Rs.3900 in 1995. But when the price of furnace oil in the international markets fell to $12 from $20 the local prices were not adjusted to accommodate this change.

According to recent surveys the total Tele-density of Pakistan cellular, landline and Wireless local loop (WLL) is 72.1%.

At present furnace oil prices should fall in the range of Rs.3000 per ton in Pakistan. Thus, furnace oil is available locally at double the prices in the foreign markets. In turn, the average impact of the rise in furnace oil prices works out to be around Rs.17 per bag.

Input 1998(In Rupees) 1999(In Rupees) 2000(In Rupees)%age change
19992000
Furnace oil (MT.) 6070.57285.008800.00 *20.0620.79

*This is the current price as per figures of March 21, 2000. The prices before this 11 % increase were Rs. 8,377.

ELECTRICITY PRICES IN THE RECENT YEARS:

Electricity charges were escalating due to the additional surcharges levied on them. These were about Rs. 1.82 per kWh in 1992-93 and rose by 107% to Rs. 3.76 in 1997-98. The prices have, however gone down in the year 1998-99.

Input1998 (In Rupees)1999(In Rupees)%age change
Electricity (kWh)
Tariff B-14.664.60-1.29
Tarrif B-25.014.70-6.19
Tarrif B-34.183.98-4.78
Tarrif B-43.833.41-10.97

RELATIONSHIP OF INPUT COSTS WITH THE OVERALL COST

Sensitivity analysis shows that a five- percent increase in furnace oil prices results in one percent decline in gross margins.

To understand the topic at hand and to draw results from our industry analysis and company wide information we need to define what driving forces are. For this purpose many definition from various sources have been compiled and the concept is summarized.

The fuel and power claim the major part of the total cost of cement manufacturing. The major standpoint of APCMA for their price increase is an increase in the prices of furnace oil.

The following is and evaluation showing how the price changes of these inputs impact the total cost and price of cement.

InputTotal cost 50 kg of Cement(In Rupees)%age of Total Cost10 % Increase in Price Adds to Cost(In Rupees)Total Cost after Price Change(Rs.)
Furnace Oil138.7220.62.859141.579
Electricity16.462.284141.004

One proposition as a cost cutting measure given by APCMA is that if the government allows direct imports of furnace oil by the manufacturer and index government’s supply of furnace oil with international prices. The excise duty on ex-factory rate instead of retail, the prices of cement could be cut back. If this proposition is considered the prices of furnace oil could be reduced from Rs. 45 per liter to almost half the price.

PRIVATIZATION

When the hasty privatization in the 1991-92 was initiated, it was stated that the privatization would benefit the common man as it was thought to be the panacea for all economic ills in the public sector.

The cliché-ridden privatization policy was based on the principle of competition, deregulation and liberalization.

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Consumers were amazed when the results started surfacing. Prices of all commodities went up, the massive layoff of employees in the name of “Golden Handshake” and bad business practices emerged as the governing principle of the newly privatized units.
Driving forces vary from industry to industry. Globalization here is a common driving force. The need for businesses to expand and capitalize on their strengths is important. No one can succeed in isolation.

The cement industry is also a victim of the newly enacted privatization strategy. The prices of the cement went up from Rs. 85 per bag to Rs. 235 per bag, without an plausible justification of cost and benefit. The social cost was far more than the economic cost. The rhetoric of the broad based ownership has proved abortive as the ex-production minister Mr. Islam Nabi, at some point disclosed that the government had handed over six to a particular group. The Association of Builders and Developers (ABAD) and Monopoly Control Authority (MCA) has also joined the popular criticism about concentration of ownership and misuse of cartel power.

There are in all 28 cement units in the country with an installed capacity of approximately 17.3 million tonnes production. Out of these units only four units with merely 1.8 million tonnes are now in the public sector while a majority of the installed capacity is concentrated in the 20 privately owned cement plants. The installed capacity is far more than the current national demand. The oligopolistic behavior of the cartel has contributed a lot in falling national demand along with some other factors like decline in public works program activities in the country.

Entrepreneurship: by being proactive and indentifying opportunities.

The depressed trend in the construction sector is evident from its falling sectorial share in the national output (GDP) which has decreased from 4.2 percent in 1992-93 to 3.6 percent in 1998-99. The growth in the construction sector has also declined from in the vicinity of 6 percent during 1990-91 to one and two percent during the period of 1993-94 to 1998-99 with an exception of 1995-96 when it recorded 3.25 percent growth. The poor growth of the construction sector is attributed mainly to two important factors, first the upward adjustment of cement prices and curtailment in the public sector development expenditure in recent times.

Entry or exit of large firms: Sometimes it is an opportunity for the industry to be in and out of large firms, because the entry of the company, who drive their competitors will greatly influence the industry The output of the big firms are also very important.

The development expenditure of the federal government has fallen from 7.5 percent of the GDP in 1991-92 to 3.6 percent of the GDP in 1998-99. The public sector was a major consumer of cement.

The cement industry attributes the high prices of cement to the government’s imprudent policy regarding taxation and upward adjustment of furnace oil prices and electricity tariffs. The combined impact of electricity and furnace oil on cost of production is 47 percent.

Driving forces are also termed as the primary determiner of the scope of the future products and markets- basically determine the organization's strategy. They are the most dominant factors in influencing the most important decisions in question.- Tregoe and Zimmerman.

However, the MCA and ABAD have different views on the issue. According to the government the MCA has reduced the total tax incidence from 47.5 percent (35 percent CED + 125 percent ST) to 40 percent excise duty in the Federal Budget 1997-98. There was a marginal increase in electrical charges in late 1997, which was far below than lowering of tax incidence.
Entry into the industry is difficult as there's a cut throat competition.

The furnace oil prices were also depressed in the market.

The cement was being sold in the market at around Rs. 165 per bag until February 1998 but prices escalated to Rs. 240 - Rs. 245 per bag in July 1988. The cartel, APCMA, in a report submitted to the Ministry of Commerce in May 1998, mentioned the total cost of production was Rs. 184.32, when adjusted with profit and transportation the prices rose to Rs. 228.50 per bag. On the other hand in an earlier report in June 1997, the APCMA had estimated the cost of production at Rs. 136 per bag and adjusted it with profit and transportation at Rs. 170 per bag. The MCA and ABAD have also worked out different cost structures. A comparison of cost of production from different sources are given in the table:

APCMA

ConsultantMCA
Jun-97Apr-98Oct-98Oct-98
Raw Material5.544.464.464.46
Packing Material12.9512.9512.9512.95
Furnace Oil16.4132.7116.4116.41
Power17.0522.8419.0019.00
Maintenance & Store4.444.152.922.92
Overhead & Labor7.6515.817.757.75
Cost of Production68.0092.9263.4963.49
Government Levy68.0091.4068.0059.00
Total Cost of Production136.00184.32131.49122.49
Transportation7.507.507.507.50
Gross Profit26.5036.6831.0117.51
Retail Price170.00228.50170.00147.50

The fluctuation of the cost in visible inputs hardly supported the logic for price hike. The furnace oil prices fell sharply during 1998, which moved up to attain prices of 1996 and 1997.

Interpretation drawn from this study is that driving forces act as change agents in channelizing an industry direction. Hence all companies in that specific industry must identify these drivers and hence plan accordingly for their future direction i.e formulating a strategic action plan. The companies who are successful in doing so attain an edge over its rivals and sustain a dominant position in the industry.

If we include recent rise (of December 10, 1999) in the furnace oil prices, the total rise hardly exceeds 10 percent over peak prices prevalent during 1996 and 1997. The same is the case with electricity, whose prices remained stagnant during the period February 1997 and March 1998. A ten percent rise in March 1998 could hardly justify the case for 35 percent upward adjustment in cement prices. The arbitrary increase Rs. 40 to Rs. 50 per bag by cement manufacturers in February 1998 had laid the foundation for the slowdown of the construction activity in Pakistan. A close look at the table would reveal that the cost structure data is manipulated by the APCMA, otherwise, the on ground realities depict a different picture of upward adjustment of input cost. The cost data provided by the ABAD and MCA may be termed as biased by the cement cartel, even then, the prices of cement could not be justified beyond Rs. 200 per bag.

Another very disappointing aspect of exorbitant profiteering in the industry is that the cement industry is unevenly distributed in various regions of the country. Different units use different technologies and different units have different plants of different ages with different efficiencies. But irony is that all units charge almost similar prices across the country, which implies misuse of cartel power. Another valid principle of the market economy based on competition is when market is depressed, prices move downwards, but in the case of cement the reverse has happened. The cement industry is working under capacity and there is scope for full capacity utilization at affordable prices. But the thrust for extraction of exorbitant profits dominates the principle of fair play.

The forces of exploitation and greed determine prices in Pakistani markets rather than market forces. The government must check the in-ordinate price hike. The shelter is a basic need of the common man and to ease the provision of shelter cement prices have to be brought down.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE INDUSTRY

MARKET STRUCTURE

The cement produced in Pakistan by different manufacturers is virtually of the same quality and standard, that is why consumers do not perceive any quality difference in the cement produced by different manufacturers; therefore, the market for cement is oligopolistic. In oligopolistic competition the market consists of few sellers who are highly sensitive to each other’s pricing and marketing strategies. Each seller is alert to the competitors’ strategies and moves. If one company slashes its price by say 10% buyers will quickly switch to this manufacturer and the other manufacturers will respond by lowering their prices.

Competitors: Internet Service Providers: Wateen, Wi tribe, World Call. Mobile companies: Warid, Telenor, Zong, Mobilink. Etc.

In contrast if one oligopolist raises its price, the competitors might not follow this lead and the oligopolist then would have to retract its price increase or risk losing customers to the competitors.
Vision: The vision of PTCL to be the leading information and communications technology services in the region by achieving customer satisfaction and maximum 'value' shareholders.

But the cement manufacturers have formed a cartel APCMA and have set monopolistic prices. This is evident from the fact that all manufacturers sell at almost the same price even though they use different processes, have different technologies and different transportation cost.

ROLE OF ADVERTISING & PROMOTION

In Pakistan all cement manufacturing companies adhere to the British Specification # 12. The product of each company is virtually same in terms of quality and price. The only role that advertising play in this situation is that, it reminds the customers of the presence of the company in the market.

DISTRIBUTION FUNCTION

The cement industry is characterized by the need of an elaborate distribution system. The role of distribution becomes more important when one area of a country is deficient in the production of a product while the other is producing the same product in excess of the demand. The presence of the product in the market is what makes or breaks a company. This is true for both export market and the local market

NATURE OF THE INDUSTRY:

Before privatization the cement industry was highly regulated. Under the control of SCCP the prices were kept to an artificially low level. However after privatization, the SCCP lost control over the prices of the cement, however the industry is subject to the policies of the MCA and ECC.

SENSITIVITY OF THE INDUSTRY

  • Technological Change

The industry is capital intensive and is defined as one that makes use of the latest technology to deliver quality product to the customer. Consideration needs to be given to this factor when making capital budgeting decisions to arrive at the appropriate amount of capital that needs to be invested in acquiring plant and equipment. This has a direct correlation with the type of the technology that the firm wishes to use.

To remain competitive in the market, the players need to follow the highest standards of the technology, but acquiring new technology and replacing the older one with the newer is very expensive and most of the time unfeasible. Any major technological change can cause the entire plant to become obsolete. As such there is no major technological changes affecting the cement industry in the near future.

  • Change in Energy Prices

The industry is highly exposed to the change in energy prices because energy (fuel & power) comprises around 40-45% of the total cost of production. Sensitivity analysis shows that a 5% increase in furnace oil prices results in a 1% decrease in the gross profit margin. Some companies that use wet process are highly exposed to change in the energy prices as the wet process consumes 50% more energy than the dry process.

  • Dumping Effect

In the international market Pakistani cement industry is exposed to the dumping by the Chinese manufacturers.

  • Effects of Exchange Rates

The effect of exchange rate on the cement industry is quite complex. On one hand, weakening of Pakistani Rupee makes the Pakistani exporters more competitive in the international market and on the other hand the cost of manufacturing increases because the cement has a high forex component in the form of energy, capital and transportation.

DEMOGRAPHIC EFFECTS

  • Size & Growth Rate of Population

The size of population and the population growth rate besides the consumption habits of the customers have a great impact on any industry. The per capita consumption of cement in Pakistan is around 71 kg against the international standard of 100 kg. It means that there is a potential of increase in the consumption of cement in future. Pakistan has one of the highest population growth rates in the world, which is around 3%. It means that in future the increase in the housing needs will increase the demand for cement.

PROBLEMS AND ISSUES

TAXES

The cement sector contributes Rs. 15-20 billion per annum to the National Exchequer. The taxation policy should have ensured lower prices since cement is an essential commodity for the development of an economy. The industry in Pakistan is paying Rs. 90 per bag as excise duty as compared to Indian producers who pay only Rs. 17.50 per bag. If the excise duty rates are revised to Rs. 300 per tonne then the price owf domestic cement can be reduced to as low as Rs. 160 per bag. Inordinate and frequent increases in taxes create a dilemma for local cement manufacturers since they have to appreciate their prices every now and then, adding to the lack of stability in the form of fluctuating prices. This has led to a reduction in the demand for cement. The rates of excise duty have been escalating at the tremendous rate of 350% in the last 10 years and 200% in the previous 5 years. This is the reason per capita consumption of cement in Pakistan is as low as 71 kg. Import of machinery for expansion was exempt from duties until 1995 after which 10% regulatory duty was imposed on all imported goods. This led to arise in the capital cost of new plants and on-going projects. Apart from excise duty the sector adds to the state revenue in the form of:

  • Provincial royalties on limestone, gypsum etc.
  • Import duties on spares and parts
  • Octroi on all items purchased
  • Excise duty on all raw materials

The rapid escalation in excise duties has transformed the sector to a loss making industry from one that was earning around 35% profit margin previously. The proposal now is to charge the levy as a combination of excise, sales tax with adjustment margins for the same taxes paid on oil, power and materials. In lieu of this recommendation the government has reduced the excise duty to Rs. 1400 per tonne as compared to the past trend of a fixed 40% of retail price.

Exports too are being affected by fickle state policies. Low duty drawback of only Rs. 600 per tonne reduces the level of exports. The reduction in excise duties should help local producers lower and maintain their prices at around Rs. 200 per bag.

Under the principles of taxation only those commodities should be subjected to high rates, the consumption of which is intended to be restricted and discouraged such as cigarettes and alcoholic drinks. On the contrary cement is a basic commodity which has the potential to promote development efforts and therefore its availability in the market at a reasonable price should be ensured.

DECLINING PROFITABILITY AND MARKET CAPITALIZATION

Since 1995 the cement sector has been in trouble. In 1993-94 the sector’s profits were well above Rs. 2 billion but they reduced to half the amount in the following year. Companies in this industry, from 1995-96, were incurring losses onwards. On top of this the overall market capitalization witnessed a severe decline from Rs. 62 billion in 1994 to Rs. 3.486 billion in 1998. The following table shows the actual and forecasted profits in the 2 regional divisions of the cement sector

North Zone(Rs.000) 1999(A) 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Profit/(Loss)(1748950)49629514331592384390335013043417785368633
Mkt.Cap.470664361588412111042735122058493474126395438879079965
South Zone(Rs.000) 1999(A) 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005
Profit/(Loss)(151884)6691818507201034403122100614113801606466
Mkt.Cap.69224310305231253110415236756179854172078962223663250

Most cement companies are incurring heavy losses due to the fact that the retail price after excise and other taxes leaves an amount not even able to cover their production costs much less give them space for profit margins. 4 public limited companies were forced to close down since their losses had reached a level they were unable to account for. The losses suffered by some of the companies in the 6 months ended December 1998 are as follows:

CompanyOperating Losses(in millions) for 6 months December 1998
D.G. Khan Cement371
Maple Leaf366
Pioneer Cement132
Zeal Pak104
Mustahkam79
Javedan74
Fecto69
Lucky59
Non-Listed1,445

DEBT SERVICING

The financial crisis in the industry has led to a severe liquidity crunch in this sector. The debt burden comprises of $300 million owed to international agencies and around Rs. 20 billion debt is outstanding in relation to the local banks and DFI’s. Financial charges have been on the rise ever since 1992 when they amounted to only Rs. 428 million, while in 1998 the same amount had risen to Rs. 1595 million. Cement manufacturers are in a fix as to what to do to remedy the situation. One option available to them is liquidation and 4 of the companies had to eventually resort to this. Fauji Cement, D.G.Khan Cement, Pioneer and AC Wah are nearing a default situation on their debt servicing on loans obtained from foreign institutions such as International Finance Corp. and Commonwealth Development Corp. total credit liabilities of the sector towards local banks is to the tune of Rs. 23.881 billion. Details are as follows:

COMPANYLOANS(Rs.million)
Pioneer1450.35
D.G.Khan312.36
Cherat284.95
Fecto215.86
Maple Leaf2919.45
Javedan388
Dadabhoy296.5
Essa225.32
Kohat444.26
Slag20.77
Zeal Pak33.81
Dandot83.74
Lucky136.34
Pakland603
Fauji617.29

Companies have been unable to pay interest due on loans, owe payment to utility companies like WAPDA and KESC. Depletion of stocks of furnace oil and paper bags for packaging and defaults in payments to suppliers adds to their burden bringing them nearer to the edge. Late payment of bills will lead to an additional loss in the form of 10% surcharge. Suppliers on the other hand will demand immediate payment with the due penalties to avoid a complete default by the manufacturers. Low stocks of paper bags will delay dispatches of orders and tarnish the goodwill developed with the consumers.

INCREASING CAPITAL COST OF PLANTS

The cement industry is a capital-intensive industry with heavy reliance on the engineering sector of the economy. In addition to this, the manufacturers depend on technology, which is usually imported when setting up a new plant or considering expansion. So far European and American plants are being set up in the country. The cost of a 2000-tonnes per day plant lies within the range of Rs. 3.5-4 billion and for a 3000-tonnes per day plant the capital cost is approximately Rs. 5.5-6 billion. This large capital outlay is increasing financial charges.

70% of the plants in Pakistan have been supplied by a Danish firm named FL Smidth. Japan and Germany have sold only 2 plants here. The situation now is such that FLS is now a price- making monopolist who is causing a steady upward trend in the price of its plants. All the new 15 plants being set up have been sold to us by FLS except those of Saadi Cement and Kaiser Cement. Due to persistent devaluation plants which cost Rs.35-80 million in 1993 are now in the range of Rs. 3-6 billion. This hinders expansion plans and adoption of latest technology by the new and existing plants.

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    Sources:
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