Saudi Arabia facing cement shortage as demand rises to cope with pace of construction
An estimated 500 trucks have been queuing outside a Yanbu cement factory for up to five days in an attempt to receive cement deliveries. There have been conflicting reports on why the backlog is taking place.
A bag of cement now costs $5, up from $3.70 earlier this month, according to local media reports.
A source at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry in Yanbu said: ‘Quantities of cement bags are largely available on the local market. However, we found a number of trucks selling cement bags in Yanbu. The price of a bag is still $3.70. We have also tried to call the cement factory to find out the reasons for the truck congestion in front of the factory, but there was no response.”
Chairman of the Contractors’ Committee at the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), Abdullah Radwan, said the cement factory is under intense pressure because of its close proximity of clients in Jeddah, Makkah and other cities in the western region.
“The main reason for the continuing rise in cement prices is that there are too few cement factories in the Kingdom. There are only seventeen factories in Saudi Arabia. At the same time, there is high demand from clients. The cement factories cannot provide them with high quantities at low cost,” Radwan added.