Saudi Arabia’s date sector sees 13.7% export growth in Q1, 2024

Saudi Arabia’s date sector sees 13.7% export growth in Q1, 2024
Saudi Arabia’s date sector sees 13.7% export growth in Q1, 2024

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Jeddah - Yasmine El Tohamy - RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s palm and dates sector is experiencing significant growth, with exports increasing by 13.7 percent in the first quarter of 2024 compared to the same period last year. 

This food division is regarded as a significant contributor to diversifying income sources and boosting the gross domestic product, as the Kingdom has ambitions to establish its dates as the premier choice globally.  

The National Center for Palm and Dates has recently revealed a significant increase in value across various countries during the period, reaching SR644 million ($171.7 million), compared to SR566 million in the first quarter of 2023. 

In 2023, the value reported by NCPD increased by 14 percent, reaching SR1.462 billion, compared to SR1.280 billion in 2022. By the end of 2023, the number of countries importing Saudi dates had reached 119.  

In an interview with Arab News in March, Mohammed Al-Nuwairan, CEO of NCPD, emphasized that Saudi Arabia’s export portfolio extends beyond dates, encompassing derivatives like molasses, pastes, and others. This diversification enhances the sector’s export presence beyond the Kingdom’s borders.  

“East Asian countries are receiving attention from Saudi exports of dates, especially to Singapore, situated in the heart of countries targeted for exporting dates and their derivatives, such as Indonesia, Malaysia, and also China in particular. What supports this is the high demand for Saudi dates, which possess high nutritional values and production quality,” he said at that time. 

The total value of date and date by-product exports has surged by 152.5 percent since 2016, rising from SR579 million in 2016 to SR1.462 billion in 2023, marking a compound annual growth rate of 12.3 percent.  

According to the Saudi Press Agency, date exports to several countries, including Austria, Norway, and Argentina, as well as Brazil, Portugal, Germany and Canada, exceeded 100 percent. 

According to the Saudi Press Agency, date exports to several countries, including Austria, Norway, and Argentina, as well as Brazil, Portugal, Germany, and Canada, exceeded 100 percent.  

Additionally, the value of Saudi date exports increased to Morocco by 69 percent, Indonesia by 61 percent, and South Korea by 41 percent. Exports to the UK, the US, and Malaysia rose by 33 percent, 29 percent, and 16 percent, respectively.  

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