EghtesadOnline: Domestic demand for stationery has declined by 60-70% since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic around two years ago, which saw schools and universities closing down, according to the head of Tehran’s Stationery Sellers Association.
“At present, stationery factories are working at 30% of their capacity. These units and all businesses related to wholesaling and retailing of stationery products have been hit hard by the pandemic and their fate depends on whether schools reopen this year,” Mousa Farzaniyan was also quoted as saying by Mizan Online.
According to Farzaniyan, educational authorities have announced late November as the tentative time when schools reopen, adding that this will determine whether the stationery market could be revitalized.
“A majority of stationery production units have reduced working shifts from three to only one per day, meaning they were made to downsize their workforce. The Education Ministry has announced that universities will definitely reopen this year. This can compensate for part of the damage caused to our business, but it is still not enough.”
The official noted that since demand for stationery has declined, there has not been any significant rise in prices and a few products only have seen a price increase of 10-15% in the domestic market.
Local stationery production meets 80% of domestic demand for pens, pencils, pencil sharpeners and erasers, up from 20% two years ago, the head of Stationery and Engineering Equipment Union said last year.
“In fact, imports of pencils and pens have been banned since the month ending June 20, 2020. Only a small number of drawing pencils, luxury and designer pens are imported from China, South Korea, Indonesia, India and Japan. Most notebooks are also imported from India and Indonesia,” Farzaniyan was also quoted as saying by IRNA.
Noting that demand for stationery declined by 70% last year, he said, “Sales of stationery are at their peak from July to October, but the outbreak of coronavirus has pushed down our sales to below 30% [of the year before].”
Mohammad Yaqini, the CEO of Iranian-Islamic Stationery Assembly, says the coronavirus pandemic has reduced Iran’s stationery market size to a third.
Iran’s 34 stationery producers have created jobs for 5,000 people, according to the latest figures released by the Ministry of Industries, Mines and Trade.
There are eight pen manufacturers in the country with a total nominal capacity of 656 million pens a year. These firms have generated close to 1,000 jobs across the country, according to a report by the Industries Ministry, IRNA reported.
A total of 57 million pens were imported in the fiscal March 2019-20 to register a 30.48% decline compared with the year before, the report said.
Four felt-tip pen production units are active in the country with a total nominal capacity of 248.5 million marker pens per year. These factories have provided employment for 890 people.
A total of 80 million felt-tip pens were imported in the fiscal 2019-20, indicating a 45.45% year-on-year rise.
Pencil production is currently underway in five factories with a total nominal capacity of 4.32 million pencils per year. Iran’s pencil production units have generated around 2,200 jobs.
In the fiscal 2019-20, more than 37,000 pencils were imported, which show a 94.47% YOY drop.
Notebooks are produced in five production units with a total nominal capacity of 2,546 tons (100 million notebooks).
Notebook imports experienced a 97.91% plunge in the fiscal 2019-20 to reach 2 tons.
Iran's total nominal eraser production capacity is 2,218 tons in four factories, which have created a total of 615 jobs. Some 350 tons of erasers were imported in the fiscal 2019-20.
Iran has eight producers of measurement stationery with a total nominal production capacity of 4,339 tons per year. These firms have provided jobs for 450 people.
There are no official data on imports of measurement stationery.