EGYPT – As the Egyptian Medjool date season concludes, Palm Hills Dates’ export manager, Ramadan Elsayyad, reports a triumph marked by record volumes, new market openings, and satisfactory prices.
The season’s peak, coinciding with Ramadan, bolstered demand, especially in countries with substantial Muslim populations.
Elsayyad notes, “We are ending the season on a high note,” attributing the success to increased demand since October.
Surprisingly, this surge is linked to regional political dynamics, enabling exports to CIS countries like Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Traditional markets in Turkey, Europe, Bangladesh, and others have also shown unwavering demand.
This season witnessed a substantial growth in exports, with Palm Hills Dates exporting 2,500 tonnes of Medjool dates, a notable increase from the previous season’s 1,000 tonnes.
The price surge of 20-30% reflects the elevated demand. Elsayyad affirms that this success is mirrored at the national level in Egypt, where the Medjool date sector operated smoothly despite challenges.
Despite geopolitical disruptions affecting exports to Australia, with only one shipment delivered due to the Red Sea crisis, the overall season success has fueled optimism.
Elsayyad shares plans for the next season, including the adoption of a new strategy with investments in efficient sorting machines.
This initiative aims to enhance the quality of dates, meeting growing demand, with a target of exporting at least 3,000 tonnes in the upcoming season starting in November.
Meanwhile, in a broader context, EastFruit analysts highlight potential volatility in Egypt’s fruit and vegetable market due to the impending devaluation of the Egyptian pound. The current situation, with an unofficial exchange rate over twice the official rate, poses risks for exporters.
Economists predict another round of currency devaluation, not only to secure international loans but also to protect exporters facing losses.
A devalued pound would make Egyptian products more profitable for export, impacting markets for citrus fruits, potatoes, strawberries, onions, table grapes, frozen vegetables, sweet potatoes, and dates.
The potential growth in Egyptian exports may ease deficits in the EU and Eastern Europe markets but could pose challenges for growers in these regions.
The expansion of Egypt into the EU market for sweet potatoes may impact US farmers, while the global date market may witness price pressure, affecting major exporters like Saudi Arabia, Israel, Iran, Tunisia, and Algeria.
As the season concludes on a positive note, the Egyptian Medjool date sector looks toward the future with cautious optimism, navigating both challenges and opportunities in the global market.
For all the latest fresh produce industry news updates from Africa, the Middle East, and the World, subscribe to our NEWSLETTER, follow us on Twitter and LinkedIn, like us on Facebook, and subscribe to our YouTube channel.