Saudi annual cement sales growth up in June

Saudi annual cement sales growth up in June
Published: 27 July 2009

The annual growth in cement sales by Saudi firms rose to 4.7 per cent in June, more than twice its level in May, according to data released on Saturday by NCB Capital.

Saudi cement firms despatched 19.36Mt of cement in the six months to June 30, up 4.7 per cent from the same period earlier, data in a NCB Capital report showed.

In the five months to May 2009, cement sales rose 1.96 from the same period a year earlier, according to NCB Capital data.

For the month of June, Saudi cement firms distributed 3.38Mt of cement against 2.8Mt a year earlier, but down 2.5 per cent from May 2009, it added.

On an individual basis, Qassim Cement Co achieved the strongest annual growth in first-half sales at 23.3 percent followed by production leader Saudi Cement Co which posted a 4.4 per cent growth compared to the same period of 2008, according to NCB Capital.

Most cement companies posted lower profits in the second-quarter due mainly to a government ban on exports that blocked income from markets in other parts of the Middle East.

The ban was introduced in June 2008 to tame a surge in cement prices in the domestic market on the back of a surge in demand from a plethora of giant projects.

In May, the government allowed cement manufacturers to export part of their surplus production provided they sell their product at the local market for SAR200/t.