Key drivers in the Middle East are infrastructure spending and high oil prices. The crisis in Syria still remains a threat to the stability of the region.
In April, King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz Al Saud of Saudi Arabia ordered the importation of 10 million t of cement to end the shortage in the country. He wants three to four cement plants to be built over the next three years and has granted US$800 million towards the projects. The kingdom has embarked on multi-billion dollar infrastructure and housing construction plans.
Demand for cement in Oman is expected to grow at a higher pace this year as a result of increased government spending on roads and other infrastructure projects.
The news from Iran is upbeat following reports that the country’s cement production will reach 75 million t by the end of the current Iranian calendar year. About 12 million t will be exported. Last year the Mines and Trade Minister said that Iran’s cement production would reach 110 million t by 2015.
Reconstruction work and higher foreign investment in Iraq has increased demand for cement. The country’s estimated cement consumption is about 18 million t, but its 21 plants were only able to produce 12 million t in 2012.
After stagnating in 2012, the cement industry in Turkey is expected to grow this year. Cement demand will be boosted by large infrastructure contracts including highways and power plant projects. The country exports about 20% of total cement production, but this is expected to decline as the importing countries expand their own cement facilities.
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