Saudi Arabian cement sales down 16% in January

Saudi Arabian cement sales down 16% in January
15 February 2017

Domestic cement deliveries in Saudi Arabia in January 2017 were 15.9 per cent lower than in the same month the previous year, according to statistics released by Yamama Cement.

At 4.78Mt, cement sales in the country were significantly below the January 2016 figure of 5.68Mt.

Meanwhile, Saudi producers continue to amass clinker stocks, adding another 0.4Mt to their reserves in January. Clinker stocks now amount to 28.5Mt – enough to supply more than six months of Saudi cement demand at 2016 levels.

The situation is a little rosier on a month-by-month basis. Cement deliveries in January were up by 11.0 per cent over those in December. In recent years, deliveries have tended to remain stable or decline slightly between the two months, so an increase of this magnitude might be taken as a positive sign.

However, the figures are somewhat flattered by Yamama’s inclusion of two new producers, United Cement and Umm Al-Qura, in their 2017 statistics. Both firms began producing cement in 2016 and their absence from the figures for that year has led to an underreporting of deliveries.

Even so, excluding both the new entrants from consideration still leaves Saudi deliveries up 5.1 per cent. Top performers in January were Qassim Cement and Southern Cement, which both saw deliveries rise by more than 20 per cent on December levels.

On a YoY comparison, only three companies – Al Jouf, Yanbu and City Cement – saw domestic sales improve, albeit only modestly in the case of the first two firms. City Cement saw January 2017 deliveries up 22.5 per cent compared to a year earlier, and up 13.8 per cent on December.

Northern Cement, Hail Cement and Najran Cement all recorded year-on-year declines in deliveries of more than 40 per cent, with the worst performer – Northern Cement – seeing sales drop by 56.0 per cent. Northern’s sales recovered by 1.9 per cent between December and January 2017.

Published under Cement News