Paper consumption in Middle East hits 20 million tonnes in 2012, up 11% from 2010; region imports 100% of its printing, stationary paper, with China, Indonesia and India as largest exporters

, September 23, 2013 () – The Middle East paper consumption reached 20 million tons in 2012, compared with 18 million tons in 2010, an increase of 11 percent. The total world paper consumption was 323 million tons, according to recent statistics.

The Middle East imports 100 per cent of its printing and stationery paper, according to recent statistics, with China, Indonesia and India being the biggest exporters, followed by Canada, Brazil and some European countries. Moreover, paper machinery is 100 per cent imported from China, Taiwan, India, Europe and Egypt.

This was revealed on the sidelines of announcing Paper Arabia 2013, which opens on September 24 at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. Industry figures published by UN Comtrade showed that the newsprint imports into UAE declined 11 per cent from AED 203 million in 2007 to AED 127 million in 2011. Likewise, import of tissues and napkins decreased by 6 per cent, from AED 363 million in 2007 to AED 286 in 2011. The same source said that newsprint represents 1.4 percent of the UAE paper imports, while tissues and napkins took up 3.1 percent in 2011, down from 3.3 percent and 5.9 percent respectively in 2007.

Satish Khanna, General Manager of Al Fajer Information and Services, organizers of the show, revealed that the Middle East main focus was tissue, converting & corrugated paper. He said that the UAE alone has 5 major tissue mills, namely Abu Dhabi National Paper Mill, Crown Paper Mill, Emirates Paper Mill, Queenex Paper Mill and Fine Hygienic Paper, together meeting 60 per cent of local demand, while the rest is met by imports.

He said, "The UAE imports paper and tissues mainly from Asia, and specifically from Indonesia, making it a key re-export center in the Middle East region. The paper industry saw spectacular growth in recent years, with production centres, paper mills and paper converting businesses growing both in numbers and output."

These facts were highlighted at a press conference held to announce the 6th edition of Paper Arabia, the MENA's premier specialized event for the paper industry. Key industry players will be showcasing their latest products and solutions for the entire production chain, from pulp to packaging, distribution, wholesales/retailing, trading and marketing products in the three day show, according to a media statement.

"Despite the fact that the UAE is the biggest importer of paper and tissue in MENA region because of its status as a re-export center, the import of paper is declining, due to increasing local production and the rising popularity of digital news," pointed out Khanna.

Khanna said this year's edition of Paper Arabia has attracted elite players from the paper, tissue and converting industry. It offers opportunities for manufactures and suppliers of finished products, equipment, machinery, paper chemicals, services, supplies of paper, tissue and converting sector to access the Middle East and North African markets.

As for paper machinery, Paper Arabia 2013 serves as a launch pad for new technologies targeted at the Middle East region. Exhibitors from France, USA, UK, India, China, Germany, Taiwan, Indonesia, Austria, Finland, Italy and other countries are participating at the show.

Present at the press conference were Mr. Satish Khanna, General Manager, Al Fajer Information & Services, Mr. Yogesh Agarwal, Managing Director, Ballarpur Paper Industries, Mr. Sanjay Misra, Managing Director, Orient Link LLC and Mr. Helmut Berger, General Manager, Abu Dhabi Paper National Paper Mill, the largest and most advanced manufacturer of jumbo tissue paper rolls in the UAE.

Khanna said that European paper machinery manufacturers will showcase new solutions at Paper Arabia 2013. These companies will use the show as a platform to establish new contacts and seek new partners and customers from the Middle East region.

Paper Arabia 2013 offers opportunities to manufacturers 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. The show places special emphasis on hygiene and disposable products, reflected in the demand for various products such as wet wipes, baby diapers and sanitary napkins.

* All content is copyrighted by Industry Intelligence, or the original respective author or source. You may not recirculate, redistrubte or publish the analysis and presentation included in the service without Industry Intelligence's prior written consent. Please review our terms of use.