Pakistan matchbox industry maintains steady growth

KARACHI: Pakistan is emerging as a strong competitor for the export of matchboxes, as the product is being manufactured at low cost.

In the recent past, many export orders of India had been diverted to Pakistan. The devaluation in Africa also contributed to the market uncertainty in India.

Pakistan matchboxes industry maintained a steady growth in export, which is mainly due to the quality of product that can favorably compete with the best in the market. The superiority of Pakistani product has not only captured the important markets all over but also maintained position its superiority.

The overall export receipts are around $8.1 million annually. There are thirteen match factories in Pakistan, of which five are in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, four in Sindh, three in Punjab and one in Azad Jammu and Kashmir. All match splints are made from poplar, of which 95% is from private growers.

Each cubic meter of round wood yields 13,300 boxes of matches, however, conversion efficiency is 25-45% because of small and medium size logs used. Between 1977 and 1988, the industry grew at an annual rate of 6.7% with 2.491 billion boxes produced in 1988. If production continues to increase at the same rate, production will exceed 14.5 billion boxes by 2018.

Egyptian Investigation Authority (EIA) has also ended anti-dumping import duty on Pakistani matches at the Dispute Settlement Body of the World Trade Organisation. Exports of matches to Egypt account for approximately $5.2 million and the industry is the only export-oriented industry of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa that employs more than 5,500-workforce.

Pakistan is exporting matches to almost all over the world and manufacturers were using locally available raw material with low conversion cost.

In India, export of safety matches suffered a drop, owing to uncertainty in the market. Currency fluctuation is one of the concerns while export remains price competitive in world markets, according South India Match Manufacturers’ Association.


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