The hottest Middle East is becoming increasingly i

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The Middle East is becoming more and more important in the trade of paper and paperboard

although the Middle East occupies the last second place in terms of global demand, its role in the world paper and paperboard trade is becoming more and more important. In 2001, the net import volume of paper and paperboard in the Middle East was estimated to be 3.5 million tons, in other words, it was only 1 million tons less than that in the Far East. The demand for paper and paperboard in the Far East is 96million tons, much higher than the former. The so-called Middle East region refers to all countries from Turkey to Iran, including the entire Arabian Peninsula. The Middle East region has a population of 250million. During the past two decades, compared with any region in the world, its population has increased at an unprecedented rate. Unfortunately, its rapid population growth has not led to a corresponding increase in the average gross domestic product of all countries. In the first two decades of 2001, the economies of the countries in the Middle East grew by only 2.8% a year before the power was turned on, because their economic activities were constrained by many factors, such as the fluctuation of oil prices and the gradual recovery of Iraq's entry into the vast user economy. The continuous wars caused by the conflicts between Kuwait, Israel and its surrounding Arab countries and so on

however, in the past two decades, the demand for paper and paperboard in the Middle East has been much better than the overall economic situation in the region. In the early 1980s, the average annual growth rate of the consumption of paper and paperboard in this region reached about 6%. The reinvestment of oil income into the production of other products and the improvement of the degree of industrialization drove the increase of the consumption of paper and paperboard. The increase in exports of fruits and vegetables and the improvement of living standards have led local people to increase the use of disposable toilet paper, and the imprisonment of the media has begun to relax, which has also increased the use of paper. Due to the rapid growth rate, the consumption of paper and paperboard in the Middle East in 2001 is estimated to reach 6.4 million tons, with an annual per capita consumption of about 28 kg, which is close to the lower limit of the global annual per capita consumption. What is more interesting to producers in other regions is that half of the demand for paper and paperboard in the Middle East is supplemented by imports from other regions. Last year, its net import volume was estimated to reach 3.5 million tons, which is the third largest region in the world. The capacity utilization rate has increased three times than that of 20 years ago

relative to the rapidly growing demand in the region, the production of paper and paperboard was restricted by several important factors in previous years. First of all, the region lacks the basis of the paper industry - raw pulp fiber. In the Middle East, only Turkey and Iran have various wood resources. Secondly, countries in the region are short of water. Third, the domestic market of countries in the region (except Turkey) is not large, so it is impossible to invest in the construction of large paper machines for efficient production and operation. However, the production cost of paper mills in Europe is much lower than that of local paper mills, which is close to the Middle East and convenient for transportation. At present, the paper industry is highly competitive, so the Middle East is not enthusiastic about investment in paper industry

in the next five years, there will be a certain pressure on imports that have always accounted for the bulk of the demand for paper and paperboard in the Middle East. According to the latest statistics, 20 paper machines are being built and rebuilt in the Middle East, with a total new production capacity of 1.1 million tons. These paper machines use recycled waste paper to alleviate the problem of raw fiber supply, and improve production technology to reduce water consumption and solve the problem of water source, thus promoting the growth of investment. In addition, the improvement of Iran's domestic political environment will enable the country to improve its investment environment

in the next five years, the net import of paper and paperboard in the Middle East will continue to expand, because its total demand will continue to grow at an average annual rate of 6%. As the investment in this area has increased in the region, fan, the net import volume in its total demand, said wittily: "the proportion of wearing anything will maintain a certain amount of heat, which is estimated to decline from 56% in 2000 to 50% in 2006. Even so, the region is still a sales market for surplus products in other regions (especially in Europe)

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