Saudi Arabia’s main port handled about 5.8 million tonnes of construction materials in the first seven months of the current year, according to fresh data.
The figure indicates a rise of a million tonnes from the 4.8m tonnes the port handled in the same period last year, Al-Eqtisadiah reports.
According to the report, the difference between imported construction materials and locally-made materials has narrowed to 100,000 tonnes in favour of imports.
Demand from local authorities is projected to improve as of October this year, the report forecasts.
Abdullah Radwan from the Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry says local production of some construction materials is still not enough to meet demand at home.
In the past few years, Radwan notes, local demand surged to record levels, forcing authorities to open the door for imports.
At the same time, local production of cement continues to post major surpluses beyond demand, while cement exports are still banned to control prices in the local market, he adds.