Nagy Mubasher, Swefi, Egypt
“I’ve been working in the industry for over 40 years and this is the first time I’ve seen a situation like this, the first time I’ve experienced such a shortage of wood products. We expected the coronavirus would affect business, but it’s all gone in the opposite direction to the one we expected. The market has climbed every day, every week. Of course, this is because of the lack of wood products. Prices are rising every week here in Egypt and we’ve reached a point where desperation has set in, with everyone selling at different prices. Transport issues are also not helping the situation. It’s difficult to get the wood products shipped, even if you can source them. It has been problematic since January – there are just no ships. So, as you can imagine, no ships are coming to Egypt from Sweden or from Finland. In addition, shipping costs have shot up, which is one of the reasons why prices are rising so quickly. What we have at the moment is a crazy market, a strong market that goes in waves and could go up or down at any moment. This is a problem and people are becoming concerned. At the same time, we’re pleased that this is healthy for everyone. It’s good for the sawmills, traders and buyers, because it’s a win-win situation,” comments Nagy Mubasher.
Since Swefl and Norra Timber began collaborating seven years ago, they have both become a strong presence in the Egyptian market. Nagy Mubasher and his contacts at Norra Timber, Niklas Gustafsson and Bertil Röjfors,value their work together.
“We have a very good partnership and an excellent standing in the market – we’re now number one in Egypt. Our image, brand and reputation are firmly established, and we’ve achieved this together. We support each other. Many people are looking at our partnership, our business and our strategy in the market, and trying to do something similar. We’re seen as a model and a guide. Our partnership is a source of pride and joy,” adds Nagy Mubasher.
“Just like Nagy, I’m also pleased with our partnership. In our work, we think about the long term, not just the next quarter. We’re talking seven years ahead. So of course I wish we had more products to sell to Nagy in these times, but the market is what it is. The most important thing is that we know we support each other whenever necessary. The situation right now is tough, but it’s not a problem because we know we’ll continue to work together for many years to come. We’ll still be going once this is over. We’ll be working together when the market dips, and when it rises. It’s hard to say what we could have done differently, because we don’t know what’s going to happen in the future. What we do know, however, is that Norra Timber and Swefl will be working together. We do our best whatever the state of the market. And that’s the most important thing of all,” says Niklas Gustafsson.