Cement sales in Saudi Arabia increased by four per cent in 2013 to 55.6Mt compared to 53.5Mt in 2012, a report released by local producer Yamama Cement Co has revealed.
However a six per cent YoY decline was recorded in December to 4.79Mt, with all but four cement companies reporting a drop in sales. Increases were seen at Madinah Cement (+40 per cent), Arabian Cement (+37 per cent), Northern Province (+22 per cent) and Safwa Cement (+16 per cent). Meanwhile, Al Jouf and Riyadh Cement registered the largest drop in sales during the month at 37 and 30 per cent, respectively, the report said.
In November domestic cement sales fell by 17 per cent YoY to 3.65Mt. The decline was attributed to the expulsion of 2m illegal expatriate labourers that led to the suspension of construction projects and delays in the transportation of cement. Zamil Al-Miqrin, head of the National Committee for Cement Companies, said the first week of the campaigns led to a sharp fall in sales which saw declines of some 50 per cent at some companies.
Analysts at NCB Capital expect the slowdown in sales to continue in the short-term but note that the long-term picture remains promising particularly in light of an increase in construction contracts recently awarded.