Regional TrendsSaudi Arabia (KSA)Topics

Flexible Packaging Is The Future

Saudi Arabia as the biggest oil producer and one of the largest economies in the world is a fertile ground for the growth of packaging whether flexible or rigid. Recently the National Petrochemical Industrial Co. NATPET has built a 400,000 MT/Year polypropylene plant in Yanbu Industrial City on the west coast of Saudi Arabia. This Plant is producing a wide range of polypropylene products which is the essential ingredient for PP and BOPP films. The future looks bright for the flexible packaging in the Kingdom asserts Mohammad Karram Vice President of Khorayef group.

mohammad-karramKhorayef group is well known in Saudi and beyond as a major supplier of graphic arts equipment in the region. The company represents a number of high profile manufacturers including Manroland, Bobst and Mark Andy among others. Recently ME Printer caught up with Mohammad Karram to find out more about packaging industry in the kingdom. “ packaging printing is on a growth path in KSA and now everybody wants a piece of action,” comments Karram and adds” almost 150,000- 170,000 tonnes of folding carton is consumed per year in Saudi and the number is growing”.
According to Karram There are major players in the flexible packaging such as Obeikan and Al Sharq Plastic in Riyadh, Napco in Dammam, PrintoPack and Al Watania in Jeddah and many others. But some manufacturers like Obeikan enjoy a unique status as a one stop shop for all kinds of packaging, flexible or rigid. “Nowadays, commercial printers are thinking to diversify with commercial printing in decline they are moving towards package printing on small scale to add more revenue stream. But I believe in the future, some printing companies will be able to offer a wide range of packaging products; be it flexible or rigid. This has many benefits as well as drawbacks. Many of these manufacturers are major exporters of packaging products to Middle East as well as Africa, even Europe. People have come to trust Saudi products,” asserts Karram.
Another growing trend in Saudi market is corrugated packaging. “The E-flute boards are gaining momentum in Saudi. The technology is taking a strong foothold in corrugated market. However the biggest company in corrugated packaging is no doubt United Carton.” Karram also believes Flexible packaging perhaps has the potential to be the most popular form of packaging in the future.” Flexible packaging in different shapes and forms such as wrap around films, metalized, shrink sleeve, foil and others are becoming the media of choice for food packaging, however you still need some sort of rigid material along with flexible to produce the final packaging.

” We at Khorayef group are planning to enter flexible packaging market in a meaningful way as a supplier. We are already involved in label market by representing Mark Andy. The company is a major manufacturer of narrow web presses for label industry and flexible packaging. More than 50 Mark Andy presses have been sold in a span of more than 30 years. We have sold 4 machines last year to different converters. So we are familiar with the market and we are planning to dedicate more resources and investment to strengthen our position in this sector, “concludes Karram.

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