Dates - Siwa's Date Palm Festival Facebook page
CAIRO – 24 April 2018: Egypt’s exports of dates increased 70 percent in the first quarter (Q1) of 2018, reaching 30,000 tons at a value of $29.4 million, Trade Minister Tarek Kabil said on Tuesday.
He added that the average price per ton increased during the first quarter of 2018 to $980, compared to $824 in the same period of 2017.
Kabil said that dates have been exported to 42 countries, with Indonesia, Morocco, Malaysia, Bangladesh and Thailand topping the list. He added that new markets in Africa and Asia have been opened to receive Egyptian dates.
Egypt is the world’s largest dates producer, capturing 18 percent of the global dates production and 23 percent of the Arab dates production, Kabil said.
The minister stated that the his ministry is giving due concern to the dates industry as it is considered one of the promising sectors to achieve economic growth, boost exports and create new jobs.
He said that the advancement in the industry comes as a result of the ministry’s strategy to develop the industry of dates, which is being implemented in cooperation with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO).
Kabil further said that investors are being encouraged to establish new factories for the production and export of dates.
The ministry will help these factories to start operations by providing technical support through its Food and Agro Industries Technology Center FAITC before the next harvest season in September 2018, he said.
Head of the Trade Ministry's Industry Council for Technology and Innovation Hanan el-Hadary said that four depots for the storage of dates are currently being established in Bahria Oasis, in cooperation with the UAE’s Khalifa International Award for Date Palm and Agricultural Innovation.
Secretary-General of the award Abdul Wahab Zayed said in February that the UAE government would implement three projects for the production of dates in Egypt at total investments amounting to LE 40 million.
The first project will be for the development and operation of Siwa dates factory, which has already put Egyptian dates on the international market's map.
The second project is related to a dates factory that will be inaugurated in the New Valley governorate within six months at a cost of LE 15 million, while the third one will involve the drawing up of a strategy for making Egypt a hub for planting, processing and exporting dates, according to Zayed.
Data from the Food Export Council showed that Egypt’s exports of dates increased by 127 percent year-on-year during the first two months of 2018, recording $20.4 million.
Egypt’s Trade Industry had prepared a strategy to develop the dates industry, with the aim of boosting dates exports from 38,000 tons to 120,000 tons during the next five years, in addition to increasing the price per ton to $1,500 from $1,000.
The strategy targets increasing Egypt’s financial gains from the industry from $40 million in 2016 to $180 million after the completion of the strategy by 2021.
The ministry also helps in organizing the Egyptian Date Palm Festival in the Siwa, which aims to shed light on the dates’ sector in Egypt and unify efforts of governmental institutions, research centers and international organizations to promote the sector and find solutions to the problems of producers and manufacturers of dates.