Stating that a lot of products were left in the production line due to the lack of paper and cartons, an official said, “The production of the packaging paper reached 500 thousand tons in the first half of this year.”
According to Mehr News Agency, in a press conference today, Amir Hossein Ismaeilpour, stating that the domestic production and industry have faced major problems this year, said, “The domestic production of the packaging paper last year was 850 thousand tons, but this figure reached 500 thousand tons in the first six months this year; if this process continues for the remaining months of the year, the amount of production of packaging paper will be more than that of last year.”
He added, “There are currently 74 factories which can produce 2 million and 125 thousand tons; but they are working at 50% of their nominal capacity because numerous reasons prevent production at the full capacity of factories. Accordingly, the supply of waste paper and required pulp has already faced difficulty.”
Stating that the production of corrugate in 2017 amounted to 680 thousand tons, Ismaeilpour said, “The production of corrugated sheets was 340 thousand tons in the first half of this year which did not differ much from that of last year; however, these two figures beside each other indicate that there is a missing part here the reason of which has been a great deal of exports to many countries, including Georgia, Azerbaijan, Qatar, Bahrain, Germany, Spain, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, The UAE and Thailand.
On the remarkable increase in the amount of exports of products to other countries, the member of the Association of paper and cardboard manufacturers said, “The difference in the rate of USD is the main reason of this increase in exports for which the foreign companies take advantage of supplying their required paper from Iran.”
Referring to the current situation of paper and cardboard exports, he said, “The increasing export is not bad per se, but the issue is when the domestic requirements are met, we should export, whereas unfortunately, the paper manufacturing companies did not manage to supply the domestic requirement of the carton making companies in the first half of this year, and we always had to control our production because less paper was supplied for us and could not supply our customers’ orders completely.”
Ismaeilpour said, “Some support exports but do not pay attention to point that exports of some products create numerous problems for consumers and industries. The highest demand and consumption of packaging are in high consuming industries such as detergents, foodstuffs whose need for cartons of these products caused sometimes their products to remain on production line because of the lack of access to paper for carton production; therefore, the exports of these kinds of goods without meeting the domestic requirements lead to damage and loss for the country.”
This official continued, “The exports of paper was banned via a letter issued by the Ministry of Industry, Mine and Trade two months ago; However, unfortunately, the exports of packaging paper and tissues were released and removed from the export ban list after the lobbies had taken place. While releasing exports provides foreign currencies for the country, many domestic companies have been put under pressure because of these exports which leads to fluctuation of the cost price of the goods for the people to which the authorities should also pay special attention.”
Ismaeilpour said, “Last year, 39 thousand tons of cartons were exported last year while 32 thousand tons of cartons were exported during the first half of this year which indicates the increase in the exports of cartons along with the packaging paper to neighboring countries, whereas the domestic requirements have not been met in this area because the price of these products are cost-effective for the countries like Iraq.”
He continued, “10 thousand tons of packaging paper have already been imported which is a very small quantity compared to the volume of exports because foreign currency at governmental exchange rate is not allocated to the imports of paper, it should be imported with foreign currency at free exchange rate and ultimately creates tragedies for the domestic production; while the market facing us is a free market with many purchasers, but the supply of raw materials for the production is accompanied with problem.
The official stressed, “We exported 216 thousand tons in the first five months of the year indicating that from around 40% to 45% of the domestic production has been exported. Now if this percentage of production is exported in every area, what will happen to the country and the economy?”
He said, “Another problem of producing packaging paper which also caused the decline in production in previous years is the collection of around of one million tons of wastepaper in the country, while the requirement of capacity of factories is two time as much as. As a result, t was suggested that the wastepaper imports should be free which has happened since last month. Of course, the companies have to import wastepaper with foreign currency at free exchange rate. Now the cheapest wastepaper in neighboring countries costs around 110 Euros which is around 2500 to 3200Tomans per kilo for domestic consumption, and t is five times as expensive as the price of paper per kilo at the beginning of the year.”
Ismaeilpour said, “With a long-term contract, we have been able to have a joint venture with upstream industries, and our products will be launched on the market from the mid October and will help our own production. We have taken action to support the downstream industry. However, despite the adoption of paper on the stock market, it has not been possible to be presented on the stock market yet due to the shortage of production and raw materials. In mid October, our engineering unit will be launched. From now on, products will be manufactured in this unit that the customers can choose and place order. Moreover, there have been some measures taken on the combination of the paper so that its safety will increase against water and fire.”
He stated, “Due to the problems we are facing in the field of money transfer, we cannot easily return the income originated from this location to the country.”