The kingdom's growing cement shortage drove prices to new highs in the second week of July, despite attempts by Riyadh to cool the market. Prices reached SR 23 ($6.13) a bag on 12 July, up nearly 60 per cent since May. Contractors in Jeddah are reporting delays on some projects in the western region as producers struggle to meet the demand.
In recent weeks Riyadh has intervened to dampen the market by removing import tariffs, but with limited impact. 'There is no sign of a slowdown in the price rises yet,' says one Jeddah-based contractor. 'The price is climbing every day. Jeddah is severely affected. And in Mecca, some contractors are having difficulty sourcing cement.' Research carried out exclusively for MEED by UK cost consultant Davis Langdonrevealed that average price of cement in the kingdom jumped to about SR 22 ($5.86) a bag in June (see Special Report, page 28).
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