Saudi Port Authority (SPA) says cement shipments have been coming since the start of implementing the decrees of Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah to import 10 million tons of cement to cover local demand. About 350,000 tons of cement have reached from the UAE and Egypt through various Saudi ports.
"Shipments have come through Dammam, Jeddah and Jazan ports, some through Yanbu, and some others are scheduled to arrive through Jubail and Dammam ports," said Musaid Al-Darees, press spokesman for the SPA.
Al-Darees said seven ships with 202,000 tons of cement reached Dammam Port last week; one ship was loaded with 50,000 tons and another with 45,000 tons. Additionally, 72,000 tons will come through Jazan Port.
A cement shipment arrived in Yanbu Port yesterday. The ship "Jarabi Bloker" came with a load of 45,000 tons from the UAE and is still unloading the cargo, in preparation to distribute it to the local market. Its time of departure will depend on the availability of machines and equipment to unload the shipment. Al-Darees said some equipment can unload up to 4,000 tons per hour.
The spokesman said the incoming shipments from the UAE will help face the continuing cement crisis. 90 percent of cement comes from Al-Batha Port, which is witnessing a lot of incoming shipments from the UAE. Shipments from Egypt form only 10 percent of total imports coming through Jeddah Islamic Port.
Amounts coming to Saudi Arabia are regulated by the market forces of demand and supply, and the availability of quantities locally. Imported quantities are estimated according to its availability outside the Kingdom. Cement imports are aimed at reducing the price of the vital construction material and checking its black marketing, he added.
Reproduced with permission from Arab News