Export of marble products reaches $51.74m in July-Feb 2014

Export of marble  products reaches $51.74m in July-Feb 2014

KARACHI: The marble export from the country can cross $100 million level if the government assures the sector of regular power and gas supply during production hours.
The export of all kind of marble products during July-February 2014 stood at $51.74 million on back of better quality products and increase in demand by Middle East and other countries, said Sanaullah Khan Chairman All Pakistan Marble Mining Processing Industry and Exporters Association (APMMPIEA) on Monday.
Export to Dubai and other Middle East countries including Saudi Arab increases manifold as compared to export to USA and European nations 
He said during same period last year marble export stood at $36.36 million, which was around 42 percent higher.
US, Italy and Middle East countries were among the major buyers and our export to Middle Eastern countries, of which the Dubai is the major importer, has become more than double as compared to export to USA and European countries.
This is due to 200 percent increase in demand besides prompt and early shipment of container service to Middle East countries, he added.
USA is eyeing on Swat district, Bajaur agencies and NW areas where we have million tonnes of deposit of marble and chromite. 
This is black colour stone and contains around 55 percent steel properties and used in steel making and steel material for tank making, he added.
Mr Khan said China is the largest importer of chromite, “It is exported to China at Rs 42 per kg but due to disturbance in the tribal areas our export is hit hard”, he claimed.
We have also deposits of chromite in Balochistan but these are not of that quality we have in Bajuar agency and Swat area. 
He said presently export orders of marble products including tiles and slabs to Middle East, USA, China, Italy, Hong Kong and South Korea are in the pipeline.
Demand from India alone is around more than one million dollar every month as India posses granite but not marble. He said global trade in marble and granite is estimated at $43 billion annually.
We have export orders worth millions of dollars from USA, Italy, China, India, Middle East, South Korea, Hong Kong and EU countries but power outages make it difficult to complete orders in time, he added.
He said the industry growth rate over the last 3 years has averaged 35 percent, primarily on account of reconstruction activities in Middle East and Afghanistan. 
He said mining and quarry sector contributes nearly 0.6 percent to Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Products (GDP) with an estimated value addition of more than Rs 16.5 billion. 
The marble and granite are among the major minerals extracted in Pakistan after coal, rock salt, limestone and China Clay.

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