Qatar Development Bank releases report on country’s glass industry

In its maiden release of a 24-part research series, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) published its `Manufacture of Glass and Glass Products’ report, based on the development agency’s study of the glass manufacturing industry in Qatar

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Glass manufacturing

The report comes as the first publication in a multi-part series, which will shed light on various industrial sectors, economic activities and areas of national growth. The report contains analytics, quantitative data about the labor force involved in the glass manufacturing sector in Qatar as well as new statistics about the rates of growth and decline in sectoral demand.

QDB CEO Abdulaziz bin Nasser Al Khalifa said: “At QDB, we are executing a clearly drawn strategy designed to resolve the constraints faced by local SMEs. Entrepreneurs consistently face the dilemma of having to make important decisions without having access to accurate information and relevant market studies.”

He added: “Our report shines a unique look at the industry and includes compelling statistics and analysis based on the latest data recorded in the Qatari market as well as other potential markets. We hope this report will contribute to raising awareness on the quality of production in this sector and subsequently have a positive impact on production demands and sales.”

Diverse products

Glass

Studies showed that the glass and glass products sector comprises a range of diverse products that can be categorized under flat glass, processed flat glass, fiberglass, container glass, domestic glass, and special glass products. Most of these are intermediate products that are used as inputs in the manufacture of other products. Construction and the automotive sectors are the biggest drivers of glass and glass products globally.

The report concluded that the market size for glass and glass products in Qatar was estimated to be QR 711 million in 2015. Flat glass and its downstream products, which are primarily used in the construction sector, accounted for approximately 50% of the total market size for glass products.

Fiberglass, which is primarily used in the production of GRP and FRP pipes, storage tanks, decorative items, manhole linings and pleasure boats, accounted for 28% of the market size.

Domestic companies

Glass manufacturing

The results showed 13 domestic companies currently operate in the glass and glass products sector, all of them in the flat glass processing segment. The cumulative gross value added (total production less the cost of raw materials) by these companies was QR 72 mn in 2015. These companies collectively employed 859 full-time employees in 2014.

The report also showed that the gross value added (total value of processed flat glass less the cost of imported unprocessed flat glass) by domestic companies has increased substantially, from QR 23 mn in 2009 to QR 72 mn in 2014. This growth rate of 26% was explained through the result of setting up new flat glass processing facilities, which are capable of offering high value-added products, such as bent glass and laminated glass.

Glass imports

With local producers establishing their market positions, imports have been restricted to products with non-standard dimensions as well as high value-added products, such as bulletproof, fire-rated and low-emissivity (low-E) glass.

Qatar is currently dependent on imports for both raw materials and finished products across most segments of the glass and glass products sector, with the flat glass processing segment being the only exception.

On the domestic demand for flat glass, the report projected an increase from approximately 33,700 tonnes in 2015 to approximately 34,900 tonnes in 2026. Similarly, there was a projected increase on the domestic demand for processed flat glass, from approximately 41,100 tonnes in 2015 to approximately 45,200 tonnes in 2026.

On the other hand, the report revealed there was a drop in demand for glass fiber, from approximately 67,000 tonnes in 2008 to approximately 26,000 tonnes in 2015, attributing the decline to the postponement and cancellation of major projects.

The analysis concluded that a typical flat glass production facility needs to produce and sell in excess of 150,000 tonnes of flat glass per annum, while exporting more than 75% of its annual output in order to be financially viable.

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