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Dubai's external food trade reaches Dh32b in first half of 2020

Staff Report/Dubai
Filed on July 20, 2020

(Photo by M. Sajjad)

Dubai's external food trade volumes in the first half of the year totalled nine million tonnes, representing a value of Dh32 billion, new data by Dubai Customs showed.

According to the latest trade statistics, Dubai's food imports touched Dh22 billion (6.23 million tonnes), while exports reached Dh5.5 billion (2.1 million tonnes) and re-exports amounted to Dh4.5 billion (733,000 tonnes) in H1 2020.

Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai's Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management, said that the high value of Dubai's external food trade in the first half of the year reflects Dubai's role as a major gateway for global trade. The trade volumes also validate the effectiveness of food security strategies and the efforts of Dubai's Food Security Committee to ensure high levels of preparedness to tackle unforeseen challenges.

Dubai's Food Security Dashboard

"Dubai has developed innovative solutions to monitor and strengthen food security. The Dubai Food Security Dashboard, developed by a local government team, uses advanced technology to optimise food trade and stocks, manage price control and find alternative food import routes and sources," Sheikh Mansoor said.

He also praised the work done by government agencies to develop the Dashboard as a smart tool for supporting Dubai's food security strategy.

The Food Security Dashboard strengthens the efforts of the Dubai Food Security Committee in alignment with the UAE's broader food security framework. The dashboard uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to rapidly measure the five important indicators of food security: the supply index, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities in the emirate.

The Dubai Customs supports the Dashboard by not only enabling food trading groups and food supply companies to conduct trade but also providing up-to-date data on the trade of food commodities and materials through a messenger system that draws information from customs clearances.

Trade Volumes of Key Food Commodities

According to statistics issued by Dubai Customs, Dubai's external fish trade reached 98,000 tonnes in the first half of 2020. Fish imports reached Dh755 million, exports around Dh145.5 million and re-exports Dh113.2 million. Trade in livestock and meats reached Dh3.9 billion. These included imports valued at Dh3 billion, exports at Dh478.6 million and re-exports at Dh437.6 million.

Trade in vegetables and fruits amounted to Dh7 billion, which included imports valued at Dh4.5 billion, exports at Dh1.8 billion and re-exports at Dh700.8 million.

Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, director general of Dubai Customs, said: "The UAE and Dubai place food security at the top of their priorities. Dubai is keen to harness its logistics capabilities, advanced technologies and proactive thinking to strengthen food security."

Musabih added that Dubai Customs facilitates food trade and provides all relevant data to the Food Security Dashboard to help strategic partners plan their operations, make food security-related decisions and mitigate any impact of the global Covid-19 crisis.

"Food trade figures in the first half of 2020 reflect a healthy and robust economy. The high volumes helped ensure food security and meet local market needs for different food commodities in a timely manner even at the height of the global Covid-19 crisis," Musabih said.

"A number of initiatives taken by the government including the launch of a generous stimulus package boosted the business continuity of players in the sector and the broader economy," he added.

He also revealed that the value of Dubai's external trade in medical supplies in the first half of 2020 topped Dh12.4 billion, which included Dh9.7 billion worth of imports, Dh293.5 million worth of exports and Dh2.3 billion worth of re-exports.

- business@khaleejtimes.com


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