GIANT paper producer Asia Pulp and Paper (APP) is forecasting that sales of the special paper used to print the Koran will increase 7 per cent to 23.6 tonnes this year, thanks to strong demand from countries in the Middle East, such as Iran, Egypt and Lebanon.
APP, the subsidiary of diversified conglomerate Sinar Mas Group, covers 60 per cent of the Koran paper needs worldwide. About 70 per cent of this paper is exported to the Middle East, while 8 per cent is sold to the Indonesian market and the rest to other countries.
“Each market has a specific demand for the paper. For example, Egypt prefers to use 55 gsm [grams per square meter] paper, while Beirut prefers 50 gsm,” said Citra Yulia, APP’s product manager of colour paper.
To boost exports, the company consistently develops new products to satisfy customers’ preference. On top of that, as the paper is used for holy books, the firm also ensures that the manufacturing process is free from non-halal substances.
“In the future, we are targeting to supply halal paper for Madinah Quran Printing in Saudi Arabia,” Yulia said.
APP booked an annual sales volume of 22.08 tonnes of Koran paper last year, up 7.3 per cent from 20.5 tonnes in 2015. The firm produces Koran paper from Indah Kiat Pulp and Paper factory in Tangerang, Banten. – The Jakarta Post