Oil giant Saudi Arabia is planning to re-impose fees on domestic steel and cement exporters after it froze them two years ago to offset a sharp fall in their revenues, a local newspaper reported on Sunday.
The largest Arab economy had decided to lift a long-standing ban on steel and cement exports in mid 2017 after a plunge in domestic demand due to a downturn in construction activity and a sharp rise in local stocks.
The decision stipulated suppliers must pay fees to the Commerce and Investment Ministry for their exports but fees on steel exports were suspended while those on cement exports were slashed by 50 percent for two years.
“The Ministry will shortly resume levying fees on steel and cement exports after the two-year freeze ends,” the Arabic language daily Aliqtisadia said, quoting Ministry spokesman Abdul Rahman Hussein.
Since the export ban was removed in July 2017, steel and cement exports have totaled around 8.8 million and 25 million tonnes respectively, mostly to neighboring Bahrain and other Arab countries.
Saudi Arabia is the largest Arab steel and cement producer, with output standing at nearly 6 million tonnes and more than 50 million tonnes respectively in 2015.
Source: Reuters (Writing by Nadim Kawach; Editing by Anoop Menon)