Egypt’s Paper Crisis

Ahmed Jaber, Egypt’s president of the Chamber of Printing and Packaging Industries recently called on Dr. Mustafa Madbouly, Prime Minister, to solve the problems facing the writing and printing paper industries in Egypt.

According to Jaber printing and writing paper industry have been suffering for some time due to decline in production of two major paper producers in Egypt; EDFU and Quena Paper Industry. Major shareholders of both companies are public and private banks and organizations including National Investment Bank, Banque Misr and Misr Insurance.

He emphasized that all parties should join hands to bring back these two major paper producers from brink in order to safeguard the rights of shareholders and save jobs, since both companies are located in upper Egypt where youth unemployment is rampant.

Egypt’s production of printing and writing paper amounts to 155 thousand tons per year (EDFU is about 60 thousand tons per year, and the Quena plant is about 95 thousand tons per year). There is Also Rakta Paper Manufacturing Company in Abu Qir, Alexandria. The company ceased production due to environmental concerns. The company’s main source of raw material is rice straw.

The volume of domestic consumption of writing and printing paper in Egypt amounts to 600 thousand tons annually.  Based on Egypt’s custom data the value of imported writing paper which amounts to 70% of total domestic consumption is roughly $ 270 million. Despite the shortage of paper during 2020 Egypt exported writing paper valued at $ 1.95 million.

All in all, countries in the Middle East imported $ 1.635 billion dollars’ worth of writing paper during 2019. While at the same time Europe imported writing paper valued at $ 8.188 billion.  African countries imported $ 1.427 billion while the volume of America’s imported writing paper amounted to $ 789 billion, and the Asian countries totaled 5.224 billion Dollars.

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