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Saudi Arabia imposes levy on cement imports

World Cement,

Saudi Arabia has reintroduced a 5% customs duty tax on cement and steel imports.

The move has been made to address an oversupply of the materials in the domestic market but the levy will not apply to members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). In February 2009, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) also imposed a similar levy, reports Emirates Business. Other countries are expected to follow the example of Saudi Arabia and the UAE and implement a 5% customs duty.

Last November Global Investment House revealed that the cost of cement in Saudi Arabia rose by 3.1% during the first three quarters of 2009. At US$ 63.50/t, cement remained cheaper than other GCC states, for example in Oman the cost was US$ 83.20/t.

Meanwhile Saudi Yamama Cement, the country’s third largest cement producer, posted a 70% increase in the fourth quarter profit from last year. The company made US$ 38.6 million in the three months ending 31 December compared to the same period in 2008.

Yanbu Cement Company has also announced some good news. It has secured a US$ 80 million loan from Saudi Industrial Development Fund to finance an expansion project. Arabian Business reports that the loan will cover 14% of the US$ 581.3 million projects now in hand. The remaining cost of the project will be funded by the company.

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