Saudi Arabia's decision to lift its cement export ban may help to meet Qatar's growing demand ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022. Official data suggests that the peak demand for cement from Qatar's thriving construction and infrastructure industries is expected to reach 5.7Mt in 2017. Due to its population of around 2.2 million, this represents an incredible 2600kg/capita.
The Saudi government previously imposed a ban on cement exports in 2008 to push prices down and accommodate demand from large government-funded infrastructure projects, although some companies were allowed to export at prices lower than those in the local market.
According to market analysts, strong infrastructure spending by the Qatar government on infrastructure development will continue to boost demand for the cement sector. Huge projects are in the pipeline, including the Doha Metro, World Cup stadiums, roads and flyovers and sanitary works.