The Egyptian medjool season is drawing to a close, as exporters liquidate their last volumes. According to Ramadan Elsayyad, export manager of Palm Hills Dates, "The campaign has been a total success, with record exported volumes, the opening up of new markets, and satisfactory prices".
"We are ending the season on a high note, as it coincided with the procurement period for the month of Ramadan, the busiest period of the campaign. It is the custom to eat more dates during this month in countries with a large Muslim population," says the exporter.
"Exceptionally this season, we have noticed an increase in demand for Egyptian dates since October, which may be linked to the political situation in the region." continues Ramadan, "this enabled us to export for the first time to CIS countries such as Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, and others. In addition, demand from our traditional markets in Turkey, Europe, Bangladesh, and elsewhere has not weakened."
Ramadan revealed that he had exported 2,500 tonnes of Medjool dates this season, compared to 1,000 tonnes last season, due to the new demand, with a price increase of 20-30%. According to him, his situation is representative of the Medjool date sector at the national level in Egypt, "we have worked calmly this season without any major complications.
"On the other hand, we were only able to deliver one shipment to Australia because of the crisis in the Red Sea. We were lucky that the crisis broke after we had exported most of the volumes destined for Asia, in particular Bangladesh."
The success of the campaign has prompted the exporter to adopt a new strategy for next season, he says. "We have invested in new, efficient sorting machines. Until now, we've only exported our harvest, but this new investment will enable us to collect and assemble dates of uniform grade, to meet growing demand while controlling quality. We aim to export at least 3,000 tonnes next season, which starts in November.