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Tue 23 Mar 2010 04:21 PM

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Saudi cement producers double annual exports

Kingdom exported 130,000 tons of cement in February this year - NCB Capital.

Saudi cement producers double annual exports
BANK VIEW: NCB Capital is the securities and asset management unit of National Commercial Bank.(Getty Images)

Saudi Arabian cement companies doubled annual exports and increased production capacity to meet rising demand for the building material.

Saudi Arabia exported 130,000 tons of cement in February, compared with 64,000 tons during the same month last year, Jeddah-based NCB Capital said in an e-mailed industry report yesterday. Annual cement sale volumes increased 20 percent in February to 3.41 million tons, while production rose 18 percent to 3.46 million tons.

Saudi cement companies are expanding to meet rising demand for the material in the kingdom and abroad. Cement production capacity in the world’s largest oil producer will increase by 25 percent to 50 million tons this year from 2009, Al-Eqtisadiah reported in January, citing an official at the Ministry of Commerce and Trade.

Southern Province Cement Co., the largest cement maker in the kingdom by market value, is spending $147 million to expand a plant in Tihama, Saudi Arabia. Yanbu Cement Co. got a 300 million-riyal ($80 million) loan in January from the Saud Industrial Development Fund to finance an expansion project.

The Saudi Ministry of Commerce and Industry lifted a two- year old export ban in October, the Jeddah-based Saudi Gazette reported in October, citing a ministry statement. The government implemented the ban to combat shortages and keep stock for domestic infrastructure projects.

There are 12 cement producers in the kingdom with estimated annual production capacity of 48 million tons, NCB Capital said in the report.

NCB Capital is the securities and asset management unit of National Commercial Bank, the largest bank in Saudi Arabia by assets.

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