The government of Saudi Arabia is urging cement companies to maintain a strategic stockpile of cement to prevent future shortages.
A directive to this effect was issued by the Commerce and Industry Minister Tawfiq Al-Rabiah, according to local press reports. Each company has has been asked to build up a strategic reserve (equaling a company’s two-month output) in addition to regular market supplies. Companies may face punitive action if they failed to adhere to the latest directives, the report said.
The minister issued the order during a follow-up meeting to assess whether cement producers are importing additional cement stocks in light of a recent royal order aimed at ending shortages. Last month King Abdullah ordered 10Mt of cement to be imported to meet shortages which have been most acute in western cities where major rebuilding works are ongoing. The first consignment of imported cement will arrive in the Kingdom within the next two weeks, according to Zamil Al-Muqrin, chairman of the National Committee for Cement Companies.