Middle East paper industry meets 50% of local demand |
Saudi Gazette - 16 July, 2012
The Middle East’s approximately $ 10 billion paper industry, one of the fastest growing in the world, today meets half of the requirements of local consumption, an increase of 12 percent over 2008, when the local production met just 38 percent of demand, it was disclosed Sunday on the sidelines of the announcement of Paper Arabia 2012, a three-day exhibition that will be held at the Dubai International Exhibition Centre on Oct.1-3.
The region is thus less dependent on import of tissues from outside the Arab region, as mills increase their production.
A separate report from RISI, a leading information provider for the global products industry, said reliable estimates suggest that paper manufacturing in the GCC has grown by 8 percent during 2001-2011 whereas GCC overall growth reached 49 percent. Per capita consumption of paper and board in Saudi Arabia is estimated to be 39.6 kg/yr. Annual consumption of paper and board in the GCC countries is approximately 3.5 million tons.
Shaikh Faisal Mubin, Marketing Consultant, Jeddah-based MEPCO - a state-of-the-art reverse osmosis plant that takes treated waste water as its input and provides the paper mill with clean and hygienic (bacteria free) water for production purposes - said in the report that in Saudi Arabia, the paper mills are consuming an average of 3-5 m3 of water per ton, which is considered low when compared with other regions of the world.
"If we want to install more papermaking capacity, we have to rely 100 percent either on imported pulp which is not economical or regionally collected waste paper."
Since the recovery rate in Saudi Arabia is still relatively low compared with the developed world, an estimated recovery rate is 28 percent, although per capita consumption of paper and board is 39 kg/yr.
He said the company invested a lot to improve the process of waste paper collection and to convert collected waste papers into the type of high-quality recycled fiber required for modern fluting and test liner production.
Tissue consumption production in the Saudi Arabia is very high especially when cotton is not available compared with other countries: 299,000 tons/yr. At present, demand equals supply.
Tissue consumption in the Middle East has grown by 26 percent during the past five years but it has grown by 39 percent in the GCC. There is continuing growth all over the region.
The demand for corrugated material has risen dramatically due to economic growth as well as consumers’ preferences and environmental awareness. The packaging industry is going through major shifts in demand due to rapid changes in consumer preferences. The GCC region consumes approximately 1.3 million tons/yr of which approximately 1 million tons/yr is being converted in GCC, rendering this sector the most important volume wise.
Ahead of the Paper Arabia 2012 exhibition, Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information and Services, said: "Paper Arabia is getting continued support from some of the world’s biggest paper suppliers and paper machinery suppliers. Some leading paper mills and paper machinery suppliers will be using the show as their platform to explore the Middle East market for the first time."
Paper Arabia 2012 will bring together players from the paper, tissue and converting sectors. The show will offer opportunities to manufactures and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to tap the Middle East and North African markets.
Khanna said the paper industry has registered spectacular growth in recent years, with production centers, paper mills and paper converting businesses increasing in numbers and output.
He said this year’s event will place greater emphasis on the tissue and converting industries, taking into consideration that domestic production of tissues is increasing each year and there is less dependence on imported tissues.
Paper Arabia, with more than 175 exhibitors from 30 countries from across the world, will be a key platform for traders and industry players to network. The show’s participants include leading global names from the Taiwan, Turkey, Austria, Philippines, Pakistan, Spain, Russia, UAE, Italy, Jordan, France, China, Netherlands, India, Indonesia, Egypt, Germany, India, US and the UK.
Khanna added that the number of exhibitors has increased by 15 percent this year, and more than 8,000 trade visitors are expected to visit the three day show.
Middle East’s annual consumption of paper will cross 29 million tons by 2020, from 18 million tons in 2010, according to Asia Pulp and Paper, the second largest paper manufacturer and supplier in the world with operations in more than 65 countries. Asia Pulp & Paper is the Principal Sponsor of Paper Arabia 2012. –