The volume of cement exports fell by 55 percent to 245,000 tons in the first nine months of the current year compared to 547,000 tons in the same period last year, according to a report.
The Saudi cement firms imported some 39,000 tons in the same period, the report, prepared by Al-Eqtisadiah daily, said.
In April, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Abdullah ordered the import of 10 million tons of cement to meet the growing demand due to the expansion of development projects and governmental-led infrastructure projects.
The quantity of cements in the last nine months was exclusively exported by three firms -- Saudi Cement Co. (SCC), the Eastern Province Cement Co. (EPCC) and Riyadh Cement Co. (RCC) whose exports reached 123,000, 82,000 and 40,000 tons, respectively, the report said.
Five cement firms were behind last year's 547,000 tons exports as follows: SCC at 371,000 tons, EPCC (103,000 tons), Jouf Cement Co. (JCC) at 34,000 tons, RCC (26,000 tons), and the Northern Region Cement Co. (NRCC) at 13,000 tons, the report added.
Meanwhile, the Saudi cement companies imported 1,925,000 tons of clinker in the first nine months of 2013 compared to 399,000 tons in the same period last year, or an increase of 382.4 percent, according to the report.
It is to be recalled that profits of listed cement firms dropped by 4 percent to SR1.07 billion in the third quarter of the current year compared to SR1.12 billion in the same period last year, according to a financial report.
On the other hand, profits of the cement sector grew by 9 percent in the first nine months of 2013 to hit SR4.7 billion compared to SR4.3 billion in the same period last year, the report said. The sector's profits in Q3, 2013 contracted by 41 percent against its profits in Q2, 2013, which stood at SR1.82 billion, the highest ever registered in the history of the sector, the report said.
SCC topped the list of cement firms to have achieved the highest profits in 9 months of 2013, followed by the Southern Province Cement Co. (SPCC), Yamamah Cement Co. (YCC), Qasim Cement Co. (QCC), the Eastern Province Cement Company (EPCC), NRCC, Najran Cement Co. (NCC), Al-Madinah Cement Co. (MCC), Tabuk Cement Co. (TCC), JCC, and Hail Cement Co. (HCC), the report added.
© Arab News 2013
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