26 May 2019
Saudi Arabia has issued 51 permits to local steel and cement companies to export their products over the past eight months, indicating slackening domestic demand due to continued construction slump, a Saudi newspaper said last week.
The Commerce and Investment Ministry approved the 30 steel and 21 cement export permits after applicants met export terms, the Arabic language daily Aliqtisadia said, quoting Ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman Al-Hussein.
The new licenses brought to 132 the total permits granted by the Ministry to the Kingdom’s steel and cement makers to export their products since it partially lifted a long-standing ban on such exports in late 2016.
“We have noticed an increase in applications for such permits over the past few months,” said Al-Hussein.
Slackening demand for cement and steel due to a downturn in public projects in the largest Arab economy has pushed most local building material producers to resort to exports and more are expected to seek export permits.
The Kingdom is the largest Arab cement and steel producer, with output standing at around 55 million tonnes and 5.7 million tonnes respectively in 2018.
(Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)
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