Egypt’s Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council has reported that the sector’s exports during the first four months (4M) of 2021, covering the period from January to April, amounted to $1,95bn.
This reflected a growth rate of 30% compared to the same period in 2020, which saw growth amounting to $1,496bn.
Khaled Abu Al-Makarem, Chairperson of the Chemical and Fertilizers Export Council, said that there was a growth in exports performance of most commodity items in the sector during 4M of 2021.
Exports of plastics and plastic products achieved an 80% growth rate compared to the same period in 2020. Additionally, organic chemical products achieved growth of 62% during 4M of 2021, compared to the same period of 2020.
Meanwhile, growth also took place for: inorganic chemicals with a rate of 47%; inks and paints with a rate of 36%; dry cells and batteries with a rate of 92%; adhesives with a rate of 47%; glass products with a rate of 5%; and fertiliser products with a rate of 1%.
Abu Al-Makarem said that, with regard to the 10 most important importing markets for chemical industry products in 4M of 2021, they are, in order of importance: Turkey, which maintained its leadership position, with a value of $354m and a growth rate of 31% over the same period in 2020; followed by Italy with a value of $140m, with a growth rate of 17%; the US, with imports valued at $105m, and a growth rate of 13%; Brazil with a value of $100m, with a growth rate of 204%, then France with $94m, and a growth rate of 8%.
This was followed by Belgium with $67m, with a growth rate of 89%; Greece with $67m and a growth rate of 97%; Saudi Arabia with $65m with a growth rate of 12%; Spain with $64m with a growth rate of 2%; and Sudan with $52m with a growth rate of 15%.
These markets imported about $1,105bn, achieving a growth rate of 32% in 4M of 2021, which represents 57% of the total value of chemical industry exports in the first four months of the year, compared to the same period in 2020.
Abu Al-Makarem attributed this tangible increase to many reasons, most notably the efforts made by the government to support the productive and export sectors.
During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government launched an immediate payment initiative, which allows for the payment of 85% of the total value of exporters dues immediately. This is instead of paying it in instalments that may take several years.
Moreover, the government is looking to open new markets for Egyptian products, especially as most countries are suffering from a crisis of closures and difficulties in the availability of supply chains. This was driven by individual government policies towards the COVID-19 crisis.
The Egyptian Government has worked to ensure that locally manufactured products replace the competing products from China and other countries that have left the market due to total closures. Some commodities, including fertiliser products, have seen a price spike in the first quarter (Q1) of 2021, he disclosed.
Abu Al-Makarem expects the sector’s exports will continue to grow at rates ranging between 15-20% in the coming period, in case of a decline due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This may also be driven by the announcement of a new export subsidy programme and the start of its implementation, besides the continuation of the state’s efforts to reduce the economic effects of the pandemic.