In 2011, the Egyptian people took to the streets in order to bring democratic change to the country by unseating the president Hosni Mubarek, who ruled the country for nearly 30 years, as per ChemOrbis. The violent protests against the government lasted about 20 days and halted trading activities in the country along with everything else. A year after the political unrest, Egypt is preparing to celebrate their revolution on January 25, a date when it all started. The approaching celebrations have raised some concerns amongst polymer players since they are worried that this day might spark some additional protests given the fact that the political situation remains uncertain in the country.
A distributor, who is active in the PP, PE and PS markets, reported that overall demand is generally disappointing. According to him, seasonal reasons are hampering demand, especially for LDPE applications. “However, there is another factor weighing down on the general buying interest. The approaching celebrations for the Egyptian revolution cause buyers to act cautiously in the market. These converters think that the celebrations might lead to another round of social protests,” he commented. The distributor believes that the market will be clearer once the celebrations are over. Another distributor, who saw slightly better buying interest for locally held PP injection cargoes after they reduced prices in line with the lower import costs, also reported that the buyers are hesitating to commit to new purchases in large volumes. “Apart from the generally slow demand conditions, hazy political conditions inside the country and the approaching revolution celebrations have dampened the overall buying interest in the market,” he complained.
The overall political situation is still fragile in Egypt in the aftermath of the turmoil. The country is going through a layered government elections process with the final round for the presidential elections taking place in late June. Meanwhile, Egypt had already concluded a round of elections in the month of January but results signal for lingering political instability in the country. The elections are likely to be finalized in favor of Islamist domination, which is igniting concerns amongst the secular activists.