Qatar cement update

Qatar cement update
Published: 19 December 2008

Gulf Times reported that Qatar’s construction industry is now well supplied with cement, sand, steel and other materials even as prospects remain bright for lower commodity prices in 2009.

Relaxation in import procedures, production boost and slackening demand globally because of the economic downturn have been cited as major reasons for the stable supply of construction materials in the local market.

Industry sources said that adequate quantities of cement were now available with the country’s main producer Qatar National Cement Company. This has resulted in company levying a wholesale price of only QAR 14 a bag at its production facility in Umm Bab. The local market is also well supplied by cement imported from Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Ras Al Khaimah among other countries.

The site manager of a leading construction firm in Doha said that "Adequate cement is available at reasonable prices in the wholesale market." The sale of cement by unauthorized retailers has already been banned in Qatar.

A source said that "Unauthorized retailers charged up to QAR 50 a bag when there was severe shortage of cement in the country until a few months ago." It added that the relaxation in import procedures has come as a big relief to the construction sector. Authorized construction firms can now freely import cement.

Cement shortage in the country was triggered by the construction boom and the first major shortage was seen in 2004. Besides the huge demand caused by the country’s rapid expansion, the lack of import facilities at the Qatari ports triggered the shortage and subsequent higher prices.

As per report, the availability of treated sand has also improved considerably though the price has not come down commensurately.