UAE Cement suppliers have in recent days started offloading stocks they had earlier built up in anticipation of higher prices. With imports set to flow in after a deal hammered out by the UAE Contractors Association, they fear a market glut might cause prices to crash, industry sources said.
Some contractors are now holding off from fresh purchases at current rates of Dh17-Dh18 per bag in anticipation of cheap imports that might be as low as Dh11-Dh12 per bag, they added.
"The situation is still in a state of flux; while a few weeks ago supplies into the local market had slowed to a trickle causing a flare-up in prices to Dh25 and more, today the supply position has eased as dealers seek to get rid of excess stocks, but contractors are in no hurry to extend fresh commitments," said an industry official.
The association meanwhile sought to reassure all parties concerned by stressing imports would be conducted in an orderly, regulated fashion.
Officials have also stated the 5 per cent customs duty on building material imports, including cement, iron and wood, will be waived to help bring back stability into the local market.