Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Commerce and Industry has intervened to curb a significant rise in cement prices in the western region of the country, Al Eqtisadiah business daily reports.
At least 14 people involved in the alleged price fixing have been arrested following raids conducted at the start of this year by ministry inspection teams. A total of 10 trucks were also seized during raids on cement sales outlets in Jeddah and other parts of the region which were carried out in cooperation with police patrol units.
The ministry has issued directives to all its branches across the kingdom to intensify monitoring and branches must now send daily reports to the ministry about market conditions to ensure the stability of cement prices. "According to a government official, the ministry has been in touch with all cement factories in the Kingdom asking them to provide specific details about production and supply in the local market.
He said: "All the companies have assured us that they would make available an adequate supply of cement at moderate prices and that was in coordination with the ministry. They have also informed us that their prices would continue to remain the same."
The ministry source said strict monitoring of cement prices would continue at all markets coming under the jurisdiction of ministry branches all over the Kingdom, especially in Jeddah where cement dealers are believed to have implemented an unreasonable hike in prices recently.