Drop in glass exports halts $338mn-expansionary investments: Egypt’s Council

Big 5

Egyptian glass firms are set to suspend their new expansionary plans in the local market due to the obstacles that currently face glass sector notably the drop in exports’ volume.

Deputy Chairman of state’s Export Council for Building Materials (ECBM),  Mohamed Khattab stated Monday that the expansionary plans of those firms to boost exports are estimated at around three billion Egyptian pounds (US$337.8 million).

He added that the competitiveness of glass exports declined due to the 15 percent-hike in production cost, leading the sector to lose a number of exporting markets. Additionally, the large decrease in global glass prices in a number of markets notably China, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, and Russia also affected Egyptian glass exports negatively, the official clarified.

Among the problems facing the sector is the rise in exchange prices that led to a hike in prices of importing sodium carbonate which is an important element in manufacturing glass, Khattab pointed out.

On other side, official Khattab said that the total investments of companies working in Egyptian glass sector are estimated at 4 billion pounds, operating with total capacity of 700,000 tonnes of glass annually.

The exports volume represents 30 percent of the total capacities of operating factories, the official stated, adding that this percentage were expected to reach 50 percent before those bad conditions.