By NY Staff
The revolution has had tremendous repercussions on Yemen’s economy. Nowhere else is this more apparent than the Yemen’s ailing cement industry.
Chairman of Al-Shalif for Industry and Construction Ahmed Shalif said that there has been a near total shutdown of the local construction and investment in Yemen during the revolution. Because of this, the demand for cement, a main material for construction in Yemen, has dropped by 80% from pre-revolution levels – numbers that haven’t been seen since the war in 1994.
The depressed demand has had multiple, negative effects on the cement industry. First, many factories shut down as a result of low demand including two government cement factories. It was the first time that both companies have shut down since they opened. Another private, Saudi owned factory in the Abyan governorate has also stopped functioning due to the crisis. Such closures have not only had huge impacts on Yemen’s domestic consumption of cement, it has also decreased its cement exports as well.
With demand in cement slowly increasing in post-revolution Yemen, cement production has failed to rebound. As a result, cement sellers have begun to turn to Saudi importers for cement, sometimes even smugglers. Saudi cement imports are cheaper, but is believed to be of lower quality. Given the influx of Saudi cement, it will make the revival of Yemen’s cement industry even harder.