Compiled by: Mirza Rohail B
Growth of cement industry is rightly considered a barometer for economic activity. In 1947, Pakistan had inherited 4 cement plants with a total capacity of 0.5 million tons. Some expansion took place in 1956-66 but could not keep pace with the economic development and the country had to resort to imports of cement in 1976-77 and continued to do so till 1994-95. The industry was privatized in 1990 which led to setting up of new plants. Although an oligopoly market, there exists fierce competition between members of the cartel today.
The industry comprises of 29 firms (19 units in the north and 10 units in the south), with the installed production capacity of 44.09 million tons. The north with installed production capacity of 35.18 million tons (80 percent) while the south with installed production capacity of 8.89 million tons (20 percent), compete for the domestic market of over 19 million tons. There are four foreign companies, three armed forces companies and 16 private companies listed in the stock exchanges. The industry is divided into two broad regions, the northern region and the southern region. The northern region has around 80 percent share in total cement dispatches while the units based in the southern region contributes 20 percent to the annual cement sales.