Industry rescued by gov't intervention
BIG 5: UAE gov't action to stabilise cement prices has saved construction sector for 'at least 15 years'.
The UAE government's intervention to curb the spiralling price of cement has stabilised the industry, according to an exhibitor at the Big 5.
Earlier this year, Construction Week reported that the high demand for cement in the country was outstripping supply across the GCC countries, causing prices to rocket.
Murali Vasudevan, assistant sales manager of Swaidan Trading Company, was at the Big 5 to promote the Italian company Sacme's concrete elements machinery.
He said: "There was such a great demand for cement earlier this year that prices were rising and it was harming the industry. We were very grateful for the government's intervention because it has helped the market level off.
"I believe the government has helped make sure there will be growth in the construction industry for at least 15 years."
During the summer, the price of cement hit record highs because of freight costs and lack of locally-produced materials.
During June and July, official figures show the cost of cement rose to $100.9 per tonne.
The UAE government intervened and introduced a price cap of cement at $80.3 per tonne after it was feared that many major projects would be delivered late or over-budget because of the cost of cement.
The price has now dropped to around $70.8 per tonne.
Sacme's machine, known in the industry as an ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‹Å“egg layer', creates concrete blocks of various shapes and sizes.
Vasudevan said the advantages of using a Sacme machine was less worker fatigue, homogenous size of blocks and less need for cement in each mixture. Sacme has had a stand at the Big 5 since 2000.
However, despite the current stability in the cement market, industry experts are predicting new difficulties could be on the horizon. A recent report by Richard Feraud, managing director of Quadra Trading, said there could soon be an oversupply of cement in local markets.