There's been a significant uptick in demand for Egyptian Medjool dates according to Ramadan Elsayyad, export manager of the Egyptian producer Palm Hills Dates: "Our business is experiencing a sharp increase in demand for Medjool dates. The demand has reached a point where our orders are at 500% of our production capacity. Of course, this would not have been possible without the quality of our dates, which also contributes to a steady and organic increase in demand."
The grower adds, "To capitalize on this exceptional situation this season, we are actively seeking to supply new buyers and expand our customer base. It's also worth noting that our production is effectively balanced between premium and second-grade products."
"Demand comes mainly from Turkey, currently the main buyer of Egyptian Medjool dates, followed by Bangladesh, Russia, and Morocco," explains Elsayyad. In terms of prices, Medjool date prices have already risen compared to last season, even before the outbreak of military operations and the new demand. "But we remain competitive and our prices are still within the global range of other Medjool date origins.
The rise in prices is explained by rising production costs exacerbated by the devaluation of the Egyptian pound, says Elsayyad. "In addition, Turkish buyers are coming to Egypt and purchasing directly from growers. As a result, prices for raw medjool dates have risen compared with the previous season."
The increase in demand comes at a time when the Medjool date industry is undergoing a significant transformation in Egypt, adds Elsayyad. The sector's profitability is attracting growers and traders, which is increasing volumes but not without drawbacks. The producer explains that "many traders and growers have entered the Medjool date business without any prior experience, which has left a negative impression on some buyers. Competition in the market, with a wide gap between large and small-scale producers, has negative effects on the market, as small producers find it difficult to meet the same standards and quantities as their larger counterparts. The limited production capacities and resources of small producers can hamper their ability to maintain consistent product quality and process larger quantities. This disparity in capacity can have an impact on overall market dynamics."
"However, the situation should naturally stabilize. Egypt has the potential and is on course to become the world's largest producer of Medjool dates over the next few seasons. At Palm Hills Dates, we are closely observing market changes and consolidating our position. In tandem with increasing acreage, we are focusing on improving quality. To this end, we have implemented new investments in modern machinery for dry polishing of dates, deep inspection for inside disease, as well as routine and more efficient analysis of pesticide residues."