Saudi dates exports have registered a 27 percent rise during the first half of 2019. Total exports during the period have already reached SR574 million (€139 mln), compared to the total dates exports in 2018, during which the total exports reached SR758 million (€183 mln) with a volume exceeding 163,000 tons.
While the Saudi staple fruit has seen its export grow, a marketing specialist, Dr. Obeid Al-Abdali, called for the Saudi firms to widen its focus in international markets. He said Saudi companies focus on the Muslim communities in international markets, but there ought to be a focus on the citizens of those markets considering them to be the main and constant consumers. “The focus should not be restricted to the Muslim communities alone. The problem that exporters to overseas countries face is targeting the poor segments of the society. The volume of dates exports to world markets is small compared to the total annual production.”
“The problem facing the export of Saudi dates is that studies on foreign markets are lacking, and we are not getting acquainted with the tastes and consumer behavior in the foreign markets.”
The Kingdom exports dates to over 60 countries worldwide. These include Arab Gulf countries, Yemen, Jordan, Lebanon, Malaysia, Britain and India. Officials are actively striving to increase the Kingdom’s share in the global dates market. In this regard, it prepared a set of detailed reports specifically for the dates sector and its export, targeting the most promising markets for importing dates, which have reached 23.
This is due to the importance of the dates sector and the increasing global demand for dates, as the fruit has a unique nutritional and health value. Furthermore, it enters many processing industries.