Mueller Middle East (MME), a copper tube manufacturer based in Bahrain, has exceeded $100 million in global exports and is striving for $1 billion in the next five years.
According to a statement from MME, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) accounted for almost 40% of the company’s global exports in the previous year, followed by Egypt and Jordan.
In the MENA region, MME is the only copper tube manufacturer. The company exports to over ten countries, majority of which are the United States, Canada, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. The majority of their products are used by Air Conditioning and Refrigeration Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs).
MME opened its doors in Bahrain in 2018 and began ramping up production in mid-2019 to increase market share. They were able to benefit from Bahrain’s free trade agreement (FTA) with the US amidst global supply chain disruptions triggered by the pandemic. According to the United Nations Comtrade database, the company’s exports to the US accounted for approximately 4% of overall Bahrain-US exports in the first half of 2021.
MME’s General Manager, Hesham Alabbar, commented on the announcement, saying: “This milestone represents the first major step in establishing MME as a serious player in the copper tubing market. Proud of the hard work that the team put in over the last couple of years. We have our eyes set on $1 billion in exports over the next five years,”
Bahrain is seen as a preferred destination for multinational manufacturers and distributors due to its FTAs and easy access to the $1.4 trillion GCC market, particularly its close geographical location to Saudi Arabia. Manufacturing is one of Bahrain’s most significant economic contributors, accounting for over 13 percent of GDP in Q2 2021. Bahrain is aiming to diversify its economy by attracting additional manufacturing to the country.
Ali Al Mudaifa, Executive Director – Investment Origination at Bahrain’s Economic Development Board, commented: “We are pleased that MME has been able to use Bahrain’s regional and international FTAs so effectively. The company’s trade milestone is a testament to the Kingdom’s business-friendly regulations and easy access to regional and international markets.
The pandemic has demonstrated the value of robust supply chains and easy, duty-free access to key markets. Bahrain’s position as a leading logistics hub and gateway to the Gulf and beyond has enabled several major manufacturers in the Kingdom to grow exports during the pandemic. We support MME’s aim to reach $1 billion worth of exports over the next five years and hope to assist more international manufacturers in their export strategies in the coming years.”
As construction projects pick up again in the wake of the pandemic, demand for copper tubing and other metal and alloy products is surging across the region. The global copper pipes and tubes market is predicted to reach 5.5 million tonnes by 2026, up from 4.5 million tonnes in 2020, according to IMARC Group.
Bahrain is one of the region’s major distribution centers, and the Gulf is a key supply chain hub for the global industrial sector. Bahrain is a gateway to neighboring markets and is home to several key logistics companies, including DHL. In the first half of 2021, trade between Bahrain and the United States hit $941 million, up from $783 million in the first half of 2020.