Egypt's largest tobacco producer to pump an extra 50 million cigarettes daily to face shortage

Ahram Online , Saturday 12 Aug 2023

Managing Director and CEO of Egypt’s Eastern Tobacco Company (Eastern Company) Hany Aman announced on Saturday that the company will provide 50 million more cigarettes daily starting Sunday to end the current cigarette crisis.

A vendor sells cigarettes at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Reuters
A vendor sells cigarettes at Tahrir Square in Cairo. Reuters


The company will increase the quantities of cigarettes in the market to 150 million cigarettes (or 7.5 million cigarette packs) per day, up from 100 million cigarettes (or 5 million packs), Cairo 24 news website quoted Aman as saying. 

Tobacco prices have surged recently on the black market amid a shortage of supply in the market.

Aman said that by boosting supply in the market, the company aims to control unjustified price hikes and curb speculative practices by some traders, who began to stockpile cigarettes after they heard of a new cigarette taxation legislation.

He noted that any price increase would only occur following the House of Representatives' approval of the cigarette taxation legislation and not before. 

Aman explained that despite the increase in cigarette production costs, the company strives to absorb it to the best of its ability.

Head of the Planning and Budget Committee in the House of Representatives MP Fakhry El-Fiqi has recently said in media statements that the committee will discuss a new cigarette taxation law at the beginning of the fourth legislative session in October.

According to numbers released by Eastern Company, Egyptians spent EGP 17 billion on cigarettes during the 2021-2022 fiscal year. 

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