The Egypt paperboard packaging market is expected to grow at a CAGR of about 4.1% during the forecast period of 2020-2025. The factors which are majorly driving the growth of the paperboard packaging market are increasing demand for paper-based packaging in the food industry in Egypt coupled with a significant upsurge in the e-commerce segment. Furthermore, the rising awareness of the usage of sustainable packaging among the Egyptian population is also driving the growth of the market studied.
- The country’s move to reduce the consumption of plastic packaging in line with the global movement is creating opportunities for paperboard packaging products in the country. The Egyptian Ministry of Environment has launched the European Union-funded initiative in the recent past, intending to lower Egypt’s strong dependency on plastic packaging and reduce its use due to its adverse effects.
- The Egyptian packaging industry has grown significantly in the last few years and targets the same in the coming years. According to the Export Council for Printing and Packaging Paper, Egypt aims a 20% increase in the exports of the packaging manufacturing sector in the next year, which stood at USD 1.6 billion in 2019.
- The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has worked to boost economic growth and develop open and sustainable market economies for the southern and eastern Mediterranean, known as SEMED. The EBRD has been investing in Egypt, Jordan, Morocco, and Tunisia since September 2012. As per November 2019, EBRD’s total investment in this region has reached EUR 10.1 billion in seven years, focusing on renewable energy, infrastructure, and SMEs. This investment will help to grow the paperboard packaging market ecosystem of Egypt in the coming years.
- The COVID-19 pandemic across the world has resulted in a new transformation in the e-commerce segment in Cairo and across Egypt, as stated by the Q1 2020 Cairo Real Estate Market Performance report by JLL. As a result of the pandemic, the closure of malls has changed the logistics landscape in Egypt. The consumers have shifted their preferences towards e-commerce buying, and therefore the e-commerce sector is striving to keep up with the rising demand for online shopping.
- There is a considerable growth of paperboard packaging products attributed to customers hoarding due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic in the country. There has also been an expected rise in consumption as a more significant portion of the Egyptian population’s income has been allocated to food spending. It has lower spending on other aspects due to self-isolation measures.
- As per the statistics given by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the country experienced a positive economic trend before the COVID-19 outbreak, with a GDP growth rate of 5.5% in 2018/2019 and more positive estimations of 5.9% for 2019/2020 and 6.0% for 2020/2021 were expected. This positive economic outlook of the country has also expected to contribute to the growth of the paperboard packaging industry in Egypt.
- In January 2020, as stated by a delegation at the UK-Africa Investment Summit 2020, UK firms could take significant opportunities in the Egyptian packaging sector, as Egypt can provide easy access to major markets in Middle East & Africa and Europe. This step will further create more opportunities in the coming years.
Key Market Trends
Folding Cartons is Expected to Grow at a Significant Rate Throughout the Forecast Period
- Folding cartons are one of the most common types of consumer packaging found in the Egyptian market. Folding cartons are majorly used in retail packaging to hold individual products, and these packaging can also be used to promote products to encourage impulse buying.
- In April 2020, Souq, which is an Amazon-owned online retailer, filled her pantry to avoid crowding in retail stores and supermarkets, especially as Ramadan approaches, which results in extra buying of food and other essential products. The food & other essential stockings at the time of Ramadan in Egypt is driving the seasonal demand for folding cartons.
- The food and beverage companies in the country are focusing on more investments to expand their production volume, further creating opportunities for the folding cartons segment.
- For instance, Obour Land, which has 12 Carton Pack production lines, has invested EGP 600 million over the past three to four years. The company has received an EGP 200 million investment fund from the National Bank of Kuwait to open four new production lines and prepare for new investments in the coming years.
Food Industry Segment is Expected to Hold a Significant Share Throughout the Forecast Period
- The food industry has driven the increasing adoption of paperboard packaging in Egypt in the last few years owing to the rising domestic production of food grains like wheat, maize, and rice. According to FAO-OECD, the production of wheat in the country stood at 9.18 million tonnes in 2019 and expected to reach 10.08 million tonnes by 2028.
- In April 2019, the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) had announced that the country’s annual inflation rate reached 13.8% in 2019 compared to 13.1% in the previous fiscal year. High inflation rates have reduced the purchasing power for many consumers in the country. As a result, the Egyptian food retail market has become more price-sensitive than earlier, especially for middle and low-income consumers. This economic factor has driven customers to consume substitute domestic products for the previously imported food items. As local food production increases, it will drive the market for paperboard packaging in the country.
- In October 2019, Chinese manufacturer Angel Yeast started its new facility in Egypt owing to surging demand for yeast in the country. As the country has one of the significant yeast consumer bases among the Middle East & African countries, this newly constructed facility will satisfy the demand at a larger scale. These types of facility expansions in the country will further boost the growth of the food segment.
- In December 2019, the UAE Ministry of Economy organized an official trade and investment mission to Egypt. The UAE - Egypt Business Forum is an official networking and business development event designed to provide Egypt and UAE companies with the knowledge and contacts essential to do business in both countries. This mission will also contribute towards the growth of the segment in the future.
The Egypt paperboard packaging market is moderately competitive and comprises a significant number of regional players who have a significant global footprint. These players hold a substantial share in the market and are focusing on expanding their customer base across the country. These players are focusing on the investment in introducing new solutions, strategic alliances, and other organic & inorganic growth strategies to capture a significant share during the forecast period.
- In February 2020, Graphic Packaging International, which has a significant footprint in Egypt, has invested EUR 20 million for its capacity expansion in a European country. This geographic expansion outside Egypt will help the company to have a chance to expand its customer base.
- In September 2019, Huhtamaki acquired Africa-based flexible packaging manufacturer Everest Flexibles for a value of GBP 58 million. After the acquisition, Huhtamki now has two flexible packaging manufacturing units in the African region, the recently opened facility in Egypt and Everest.
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