After summoning Minister of Trade and Industry over cement shortage and Presidential orders given to deal with the escalation in cement prices, a parliamentary committee started investigating the reasons for the shortage. The committee held a meeting with Noman Dowaid, Director of the Amran Cement Factory, on the current cement shortage and the reasons for the rise in cement prices in local markets. Dowaid said the reason for the shortage was due to the increasing demand for cement, and that local cement production covers only 43 per cent of local market needs. “The shortage is not only in Yemen, but it is also present in other Arab countries,” he told the committee.
He said the factory had always complied with the new official price of YR 900 per 50km bag, and spoke of the role of the local cement market monitoring bodies that prevent price violations. There were plans, he said, to open a new production line in the Amran factory, which is expected to increase production from 600,000 tons to 750,000 tons annually. Last month, the Military Economic Corporation (MEC) announced that it would import cement to meet local market needs and counteract black market activity. The corporation will also extend production lines at its Amran, Bajal and Al-Barah plants to 5 million tons annually by 2007.