Demand for cement in Saudi Arabia decreased sharply in 2013, increasing stocks of clinker to a record-high level of 13 million t. As previously reported by World Cement, Saudi cement sales fell in November 2013 due to the expiration of the government amnesty and the beginning of correction campaigns against illegal migrant workers. This was in an effort to boost Saudi employment in the construction sector.
According to local news sources, the country recorded one of its highest growth rates for cement demand in 2012, at around 10%, but demand in 2013 has dropped to around 3% following the enforcement of the government amnesty in May 2013, which allowed illegal foreign workers to leave the country without reprisals. Furthermore, sales of the country’s 15 cement companies are reported to have declined by some 30% and sales of bagged cement have decreased sharply due to a labour shortage in workers needed to transport the bags. Prices per bag of cement are also reported to have dropped.
The Chairman of the Saudi Committee for National Cement Companies, Zamil Al Mugren, told local press that despite the drop in sales, the situation has now started to stabilise and demand is expected to begin improving in the next month. The current buildup of clinker stocks is also expected to help alleviate potential future shortages.
Edited from various sources by Rosalie Starling
Read the article online at: https://www.worldcement.com/africa-middle-east/03012014/cement_demand_in_saudi_arabia_slowed_sharply_in_2013_555/