Cement shortage triggers crisis in Makkah



MAKKAH: ARAB NEWS

Published — Wednesday 19 December 2012

Last update 19 December 2012 4:05 am

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

The depleting cement stock has triggered a crisis in Makkah, as the price of one cement bag reached SR 20 in the black market recently.
It is feared that more than 300 construction projects will have to be suspended due to the cement shortage. Whilst other contractors are buying cement at higher prices in the black market because they fear heavy fines will be imposed on them if their projects are not completed at the agreed-upon time.
Chairman of the Contractors Committee at the Makkah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI) Abdullah Al-Saeedi said the MCCI planned to raise the issue to the Council of Saudi Chambers of Commerce and Industry to find an immediate solution.
“The crisis began to unfold 10 days ago when distributors failed to meet the rising demand for cement,” Al-Saeedi said, adding that the price may go above SR 20 per bag.
Another source said the shortage would be more acute next year, as the expansion work of some cement factories is likely to last not less than 18 months and establishing new factories will take between 24 to 30 months.
In the Taif market, the price of a cement bag reached SR 21 and even that supply is a trickle, a market source said.
The source added that the situation would lead to unexpected delays in the completion of a number of projects despite the Ministry of Commerce and Industry’s assurance that it is in total control of the situation, especially after last year’s crisis, which required intervention to bring down the price.
Traders and truck drivers blamed factories for not releasing sufficient quantities of the commodity to the market. They said the factories are now supplying only one full load for each truck in a week, while in the past they used to release three or four loads for each truck per week.
On the other hand, however, Sultan Al-Sobaie, a Saudi cement buyer, blamed truck drivers for the cement shortage. “It is the lack of effective market monitoring that prompts laborers and truck drivers to push up the price artificially,” Al-Sobaie said.
He requested authorities to take urgent steps to oversee prices and supply sufficient quantities of cement, while expressing his surprise with regards to the unexpected hike in cement prices this year.
An official of the ministry in Taif said inspectors have been monitoring markets since the problem began two weeks ago.
The crisis appeared in the Yanbu cement market three days ago, despite the fact that market was full of cement some days ago. These days a large number of empty trucks are queuing up in front of the local cement company waiting for deliveries. Truck drivers, who demand SR 15 for a bag instead of the permitted SR 14, say they want a higher price because their trucks have been waiting for five days to get a load of the commodity. A driver said if he supplied a load of 500 bags in Makkah or Jeddah he would profit SR 4,000 while he would only earn a profit of SR 2,500 if he sold the cement in Yanbu.
An official at the Commerce and Industry Ministry’s branch in Yanbu said his office did not receive a reply to the letter it sent to the cement factory in the city, demanding an explanation for why trucks are waiting for days before receiving the cement load.

What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: The Kingdom and New Zealand have signed an air services agreement to set a comprehensive regulatory framework for air transport, operating on a safe and organized basis.The deal was signed at the General Authority of Civil Aviation (GACA) he...
JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia’s capital city has major opportunities for investors across several sectors, the High Commission for the Development of Riyadh stated in its investment climate report for last year.The report, published in a local newspaper on Fr...
RIYADH: Education Minister Ahmed Al-Issa has called on teachers, educators and other officials of his ministry to work hard for the common goal of producing quality graduates. “I urge you to do your level best in transmitting knowledge to the student...
AL-AHSA: Uncoordinated production resources, lack of risk planning, evaluation, non-study of similar projects and poor planning are among the reasons for failure of projects, an expert has said.“Total quality management (TQM) is an integrated scienti...
JEDDAH: The Specialized Criminal Court has issued its verdict against two Saudis for terrorism-related offenses and for supporting extremist groups, a local daily has reported.The court issued a prison sentence of ten and a half years to the first de...
RIYADH: The second phase of the operation on a Polish child for a genetic heart disease was successfully performed at the King Abdulaziz Medical City (KAMC) of the National Guard Health Affairs on Wednesday. On a directive from Custodian of the Two H...
JEDDAH: A new breast cancer treatment improves survival rates by an average 20 percent, with life expectancy lengthened by 29.9 months.This is according to Ahmed Al-Wabari, breast oncology consultant at King Fahd Specialist Hospital in Dammam, who ou...
RIYADH: The projects of Saudi students at the Technical Trainers College (TTC) is being showcased at the German pavilion in the 30th Janadriyah Festival. With the slogan “Welcome to Your Future”, the TTC is participating in the festival with Germany...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor has urged firms to immediately start implementing the 10th phase of the Wage Protection System before it becomes mandatory on March 31.Mohammed Al-Faleh, assistant undersecretary for inspection and development of the wor...
RIYADH: As many as 104 antique items that have come from the Pergamon Museum in Berlin, Germany, have gone on display at the National Museum here. The exhibition coincides the Janadriyah festival for heritage and culture.According to local media, the...
RIYADH: A visiting Kuwaiti delegation has praised Saudi Arabia for collecting and preserving various heritage items at the King Abdul Aziz Historical Center in Riyadh.The delegation, led by Kuwait’s Education Minister Bader Al-Essa, was given a tour...
RIYADH: Road security forces in Madinah apprehended two Asian expats who were caught in possession of a huge amount of money totaling SR1.6 million and talismans.“The two Asians were riding in a Japanese-made car when they were stopped at the Yanbu-...
RIYADH: Good news for the 25,000 British expatriates in the Kingdom, who will get their franchise to participate in the referendum on the UK’s membership of the European Union.In an announcement on Thursday, the British Embassy here said that the Uni...
JEDDAH: Jeddah Municipality, with cooperation of the Check Safety First British company, launched an award of excellence for services in restaurants under the name E-Cristal to support the establishment of best services in restaurants and eatery shop...
JEDDAH: Well-known Indian cricketer Irfan Pathan married Safa Baig, an Indian woman, who was born in Jeddah and raised here by her Hyderabadi parents.The marriage was solemnized at a simple ceremony at the Grand Mosque in Makkah on Wednesday. Only a...

Stay Connected

Facebook