Egypt’s leading cigarette producers, Phillip Morris Egypt and Eastern Tobacco, announced price hikes to their products on 14 November amid rising production costs.
Phillip Morris’s product line includes Marlboro, Merit, L&M, and HEETS.
Marlboro of all types now cost EGP 69 (USD 2.23), Marlboro Crafted EGP 59 (USD 1.91), Merit EGP 74 (USD 2.39), L&M LE 50 (USD 1.62), and HEETS of all types cost EGP 56 (1.81).
Eastern Tobacco, famed for their Cleopatra cigarettes, also updated several of their products’ prices.
A standard Cleopatra Box (10 cigarettes) now costs EGP 20 (USD 0.65), whereas a large Cleopatra Box (20 cigarettes) costs EGP 27 (USD 0.87).
Both companies called on retailers and distributors to adhere to the revised prices in light of surging black market prices.
Egypt’s tobacco industry continues to suffer from shortages and rising import costs, creating a shortage for Egypt’s 18 million smokers.
The shortage forced nicotine-dependent Egyptians to depend on the black market to find their products, paying up to double the formal market price.
“I have been smoking Cleopatra for more than two decades. I remained loyal to this brand for years. It’s beyond frustrating. One pack now costs me around EGP 55,” Hoda Ibrahim, 59, told Egyptian Streets back in August 2023.
Rising commodity costs have been on an upward trajectory since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, which disrupted the global economy and supply chain.
A sharp withdrawal of foreign currency in Egypt, primarily from hot money investors, led to import restrictions that further increased production costs in Egypt’s local sectors – including the tobacco industry, which heavily relies on importing raw materials.
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