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Saudi June cement sales up 4.7pc

Riyadh, July 25, 2009

The annual growth in cement sales by Saudi firms rose to 4.7 percent in June, more than twice its level in May, according to data released on Saturday by NCB Capital.

Saudi cement firms despatched 19.36 million tonnes of cement in the six months to June 30, up 4.7 percent from the same period earlier, data in a NCB Capital report showed.

In the five months to May 2009, cement sales rose 1.96 from the same period a year earlier, according to NCB Capital data.

For the month of June, Saudi cement firms distributed 3.38 million tonnes of cement against 2.82 million tonnes a year earlier, but down 2.5 per cent from May 2009, it added.

On an individual basis, Qassim Cement achieved the strongest annual growth in first-half sales at 23.3 per cent followed by production leader Saudi Cement which posted a 4.4 percent growth compared to the same period of 2008, according to NCB Capital.

Most cement companies posted lower profits in the second-quarter due mainly to a government ban on exports that blocked income from markets in other parts of the Middle East.

The ban was introduced in June 2008 to tame a surge in cement prices in the domestic market on the back of a surge in demand from a plethora of giant projects.

In May, the government allowed cement manufacturers to export part of their surplus production provided they sell their product at the local market for 200 riyals a tonne.

NCB Capital said Saudi Cement, Eastern Province Cement and Southern Province Cement are among firms that will most likely to resume exporting based on the level of their stocks exports history. NCB Capital is affiliated to state-owned National Commercial Bank, one of the kingdom's largest lenders.-Reuters




Tags: cement | Saudi | grow | Sale |

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