Sweet dealings: Dubai date trade hits Dh814.3M in 2016

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Sweet dealings: Dubai date trade hits Dh814.3M in 2016
The UAE is the world's fourth-largest exporter of dates.

Dubai - At $85.1M, exports accounted for largest share in trade value

By Staff Report

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Published: Fri 16 Jun 2017, 7:48 PM

Last updated: Fri 16 Jun 2017, 9:52 PM

Dubai's total date trade in 2016 amounted to $221.7 million (Dh814.3 million), with Morocco and Oman being listed as the largest importers of Dubai dates during the period, an analysis conducted by the Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed.
At $85.1 million, exports accounted for the largest share in the trade value, followed by imports at $72.1 million, and re-exports at $64.5 million. In addition, Dubai's export share of the emirate's total date trade stood at 38 per cent in 2016. Compared to other emirates, Dubai was the top exporter of dates to other countries in 2015 with 96 per cent market share of the UAE's date exports.
Morocco was the largest importer of Dubai dates in 2016 by value with $11.7 million worth of dates and 14 per cent market share, followed by followed by Oman (13 per cent), India (12 per cent), Bangladesh (12 per cent) and Indonesia (10 per cent). In terms of quantity, Bangladesh was the largest importer during the same year as its volume of imports reached 17,600 tonnes or 16.3 per cent of total exports.
The UAE's share of global date exports stood at 8.5 per cent, or $96.3 million in 2015, according to data from Trade Map, making the country the world's fourth-largest exporter of dates. Southeast Asia and the Middle East and North Africa were identified as the top importing regions for UAE dates. However, North America and Europe were also among the largest date importers.
Dubai's date exports recorded a compound annual growth rate of 34.1 per cent between 2011 and 2015, and the quantity of dates exported from the emirate in 2016 amounted to 108,300 tonnes, which is slightly below peak levels seen in 2015. The price of dates exported from Dubai in 2016 stood at $786 per tonne, while the price for re-exports and imports were $405 per tonne and $399 per tonne, respectively. In 2016, 77 per cent of the dates exported by Dubai fell into the categories of high-quality, fresh and chilled.
Dubai Customs data shows that the volume of Dubai's date exports to North American and European countries remained low in 2015. However, the analysis found that Dubai has the potential to boost its date exports to those countries which already enjoy good trade relations with the emirate. When comparing the prices of dates imported to Europe in 2015, the UAE offered the lowest price of $1,211 per tonne. It highlighted the need to diversify UAE's date exports beyond fresh and dried dates to other date-based products such as date syrup, date vinegar and date paste.
- rohma@khaleejtimes.com

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