Saudi Arabia is poised to lead the GCC countries in terms of the value of cement it will require and consume in the next two years to reach $30 billion (SR112.50 billion), followed by the UAE at $4 billion investment in the construction sector.
According to experts, the cement demand in the GCC will exceed $49 billion in the next two years where Saudi share alone will account for 61.22 percent of the overall Gulf demand and consumption.
Meanwhile, Abdullah Said Rudwan, head of the contractors committee at Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCI), said the Saudi leading position on cement demand among the GCC countries had come as a result of mega projects being implemented by the government where 80 percent of projects’ needs are dependent on cement as a major source of building material.
In this context, he enumerated a series of plans such as the expansion projects in the two holy mosques, airports, metro, and highway projects.
The construction and contracting sector will witness a rapid growth during the next two years, which will spur demand on cement but, however, come down gradually in a five-year period to remain at normal rates as soon as projects are implemented, he was quoted as saying.
Commercial directors for Middle East and India Region at Grace Construction Products said the GCC region normally experienced the construction of mega projects, which have immensely contributed to the development of the sector.
The private sector remains a major partner in the development of the contracting field through the implementation of a series of investment projects such as shopping malls, towers and housing units, he said.
According to available data, cement consumption in Saudi market has marked a robust growth in the last few years where it increased from 16 million tons in 2000 to more than 48 million tons in 2011 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12 percent. The cement consumption for five years covering the period 2006-2011 grew at CAGR of 15.7 percent, the data showed.
Meanwhile, demand on cement is expected to gain momentum to meet the activities of the construction sector in tandem with the enormous government support to mega projects in the Kingdom, the experts said.
Last week, analysts at NCB Capital predicted that cement sales would grow by 8.2 percent YoY in 2013 to reach 56 million tons and continue to grow at a CAGR of 6.3 percent until 2015.