In 2012, the Middle East and North Africa print market was valued at $17.4 billion and is forecast to grow 7.2% per annum reaching $26 billion by 2018, according to a new report from Smithers Pira.
Recent dramatic fluctuations in the oil market are putting increasing pressures on the region to diversify their economies. As a direct effect of governments' diversification initiatives, the printing and publishing industry has seen an increased investment. New machinery has been continuously replacing the old equipment, which had limited capacity, and was often installed 50 years ago. With the new technology, the automation process is spreading.
This growth offers huge opportunities for printers, raw material suppliers and print equipment suppliers, but the instability in the region has meant that the amount of information available has declined. The need to acquire insight into the current print market is high as ever.
To help identify these opportunities, Smithers Pira has published a major new market study - The Future of Print in the Middle East and North Africa to 2018 - to provide interested parties with an up-to-date view of the current state of play in the Middle Eastern printing market, and providing a primary research-based projection of future activity. Containing more than 350 tables and figures, the report offers a comprehensive overview of the market by examining the factors in play, and provides hard, quantitative market sizes and forecasts, split by print process, end-use and country.
In 2013, Saudi Arabia is projected to account for the largest print revenues in the market; however, in volume terms, Turkey is expected to lead the market, accounting for 39% of output, followed by Saudi Arabia and Iran. Iraq is expected to record the steepest growth rate in volumes during the year, while Syria is expected to further deteriorate due to the civil war conditions in the country, and account for the worst performance in the region.
In the recent years, digital printing has shown a robust growth, as the demand for long runs is shrinking and short runs and variable printing are becoming increasingly popular.
Political issues are significant, with languages in use and government policy on freedom of the press. Educational expenditure plays a major role in literacy and the book printing market. In addition, political instability in the region will have some negative effects on the printing market.
Commercial web, sheetfed and newspaper presses were the most affected by the Arab Spring crisis, and the size and number of newspapers in circulation declined. With the rise of protests and opposition against the oppressive regimes, a number of publishing projects were put on hold.
In 2012, the largest market share was accounted for by board packaging. In 2013, newspapers are expected to decline, but other print publications, such as magazines and books, are projected to grow. Wide format inkjet is expected to be one of the key growth areas in the regional market.
Source: Smithers Pira