May 24, 2024
Business Events

Middle East paper containerboard sector seen on solid footing

Dumping and industry index up for discussion at Propaper Dubai 2023

The paper containerboard segment in the Middle East region has been growing above the global average of 2.5% at 3-4% on the back of solid GDP growth, the evolution of e-commerce and population growth, according to an industry expert speaking at Propaper Dubai 2023 on September 13, 2023.

Propaper Dubai, the trade fair, conference, awards and gala dinner for the Middle East-based paper, tissue, paperboard, packaging, and printing industry, is being held from September 12-14, 2023, at InterContinental Festival Arena, Dubai Festival City, Dubai, UAE.

Verifair Dubai organises the trade-only event.

Growth trajectory

In his keynote presentation, Sami Al Safran, President of the Arab Federation for Paper, Printing and Packaging Industries (AFPPI) and Group President of the Saudi Arabia-based Middle East Paper Company, said: “The commodity industry in the region is subject to technicalities like supply and demand, performance, etc., but we are seeing the containerboard industry growing, and accordingly, regular investments are also happening to bridge the gap between demand and supply.”

Al Safran stated that the net containerboard imports by the Middle East region stand at 20%, and the demand and supply could balance out by 2025.

However, Al Safran noted that further implications should be anticipated, considering the excellent access to the regional market for overseas suppliers.

“At AFPPI, local industry players are coming together seeking support from the government [Saudi Arabia] for different things, one of which is dumping.

Anti-dumping concerns

“GCC companies have filed anti-dumping cases against suppliers from Germany, France, and India. Investigations have confirmed that there is physical dumping, which will be addressed by putting safeguards such as higher duties in place,” he said.

Cost inflation, environmental concerns, raw material availability and policy vacuum are some of the challenges faced by the paper industry in the region.

This scenario is offset by opportunities such as sustainability, e-commerce development, economic growth and a large end-user segment, Al Safran said in his well-attended presentation.

Propaper Dubai 2023 also incorporates Super Sourcing Dubai 2023, hosted under the auspices of the Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and the Indian government, where close to 47 companies from India are participating.

Indian perspective

Yogesh Gupta, Chair of FIEO, said: “Indian exporters endeavour to highlight quality and to showcase sustainable products at such global platforms where sustainable recycled products and not trees are replacing plastics.”

Indian companies’ representatives at Propaper Dubai 2023 have pointed to its being a “game-changer” for Indian suppliers since the event’s inception during the pandemic era.

Jeen Joshua, Managing Director of Verifair Dubai, said: “Propaper Dubai 2023 is focused on bringing market-leading industry thought leaders to shed light on the market and trends to facilitate transparency and knowledge sharing.”

Industry index

Meanwhile, regional experts have urged paper industry players to participate in the GCC containerboard index unveiled in May 2022.

This index, a first for the regional industry, captures market transaction data that can be accessed based on subscription and open data in some cases.

Overall, the platform allows suppliers and end-users to leverage and share data regarding transactions, prices, etc., to empower informed decision-making, thus contributing to more market stability.

Featured image: Dais scene at Propaper Dubai 2022: Image: Propaper Dubai

Last Updated on 8 months by Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247

    Middle East News 247 delivers the latest business and lifestyle news and essential infotainment for, and from the Middle East region, with key focus on the GCC nations: United Arab Emirates (UAE), Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Kuwait, and Oman.
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