Saudi Arabia: export ban lifted

Saudi Arabia: export ban lifted
Published: 11 July 2016


The Saudi Arabian government has decided to lift the export ban on cement, which was imposed in 2008 to push down prices and accommodate the demand generated by government-funded infrastructure projects. Once the ban has been lifted potential export destinations will include Qatar, Yemen, Jordan, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, east Africa and the UAE.

This decision to remove the export ban may help Qatar, a country with major construction projects planned in the run up to Fifa 2022, meet its growing demand for cement. Official data suggests that peak cement demand from Qatar’s construction and infrastructure industries will reach 57Mta by 2017.

Qatar currently has two domestic cement producers, Qatar National Cement Company (QNCC) and Al Khalij. QNCC, which was expected to have reached a production capacity of 6.6Mta by the end of 2015, holds a market share of 70 per cent. Average cement demand in the country between 2013-2015 stood at around 5.5Mta, above government estimates of 2.5-4Mta.