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As stocks of Deglet Nour pile up in Tunisia, exporters are forced to lower prices

It's been a slow season for Tunisian Deglet Nour exporters, with demand exceptionally low. To add to their troubles, the crisis in the Red Sea has cut them off from their markets in Asia, at the height of the supply period for Ramadan. "As a result, stocks are piling up in the cold rooms," says Mohamed Akermi, CEO of Tunileaf.

The exporter says, "Large quantities of Deglet Nour usually go to Asian countries such as Malaysia and Indonesia, in addition to the Gulf countries. But that hasn't been the case this season, with the outbreak of the crisis in the Red Sea. What's more, European and Moroccan demand has been slow, for reasons that escape us. As a result, we're left with large stocks on our hands."

Akermi continues, " At this stage of the season, we would normally have finished exporting branched deglet nour, and started shipment of packed ones. However, we still have branched dates available. It may be a bad for a good: as the month of Ramadan approaches, we are announcing that we still have dates of excellent quality, ready to be shipped for importers who have not yet prepared for Ramadan."

With national production exceeding last year's, an unusually low demand, and virtually no shipments to Asia, the exporter is announcing a reduction in prices. "1st quality branched deglet nour are only 2.45 dollars a kilo, available in 1, 2 and 5 kg packs. Packaged dates are priced at 1.65-1.7 dollars per kilo, in 250, 300, and 500 gram packs. This is an effort we are forced to make given market conditions."

Tunisian exporters can take advantage of the difficulties faced by their main competitor, Algeria. Akermi says: "Algerian deglet nour is facing major problems in Europe, and was recently rejected en masse in France due to the presence of high pesticide residues.

We therefore expect an increased demand from France in the rest of the season, in addition to our traditional markets in Germany and the Netherlands.

For more information:
Akermi Mohamed
Tel: +21654559332