Dubai has bolstered its good standing in the fruit and vegetable trade by fostering growth in the international trade of these items. According to statistics issued by Dubai Customs, the emirate's trade in these foodstuffs amounted to about AED 6.4bn in the first half of 2013, compared to AED 5.4bn in the first half of 2012. This increase in trade, which reflects a 19% growth in value, coincides with the International Perishables Expo Middle East, currently held in Dubai.
The greatest share of the fruit and vegetable trade passes to local markets. The fruit-vegetable imports reached about AED 4.6bn in the first half of 2013, compared to AED 3.9bn in the first half of the preceding year; while exports and re-exports amounted to AED 1.8bn, compared to AED 1.5bn for the same period in the preceding year.
The growth of the fruit and vegetable trade reflects the boom in local markets and continuous expansion of demand, thanks to population growth, the emerging economy, and Dubai’s upholding of its leading position in the regional and international fruit and vegetable markets through exports and re-exports to these markets.
The USA has topped the list of Dubai's trading partners in fruit imports by about a 25% share, amounting AED 794mn; while India came in second with a 15% share, amounting to AED 477mn, and followed by South Africa with a 12% share, amounting to AED 384mn. The share of these three leading countries combined totaled 52% of total fruit imports –AED 1.7bn. Regarding fruit exports and re-exports, Iran leads the list with a 29% share, amounting to AED 422mn; with Saudi Arabia coming next at a 14% share, amounting to AED 207mn; and finally India, with an 11% share, amounting to AED 163mn. The total share of these three countries combined was 55% -with a value of AED 792mn.
As far as the vegetable trade is concerned, India tops the list of Dubai's trading partners with a 15% share (valuing AED 213mn); followed by Australia with a 14% share (valuing AED 191mn), and Canada with a 12% share (valuing AED 165mn). The share of these three countries reached 41% of the total vegetable imports of Dubai –with a value of AED 569mn. In the export and re-export arena, Iran has a share of 24% -valuing AED 94mn; followed by the Sultanate of Oman with a 21% share, valuing at AED 82mn, and Qatar with an 11% share (AED 42mn). The combined share of the three countries reached 56% of the total exports and re-exports of vegetables– with a value of AED 217mn.
Dubai Customs is keen to provide the best facilities for vegetable and fruit trading, by accelerating customs clearance procedures for this type of goods to make sure they reach the market as soon as possible. This is to meet the consumers’ demand of all types and quantities without delay and to ensure fruits and vegetables remain fresh and of high quality. By fully meeting consumers’ demands, vegetable and fruit traders can further their opportunities to expand their trade.
By becoming the first 100% smart government department, Dubai Customs offers smart services to its customers to expedite customs clearance processes of goods of various types, including vegetables and fruits which will benefit the most by the acceleration of clearance procedures. Traders can completely follow-up their operations through smart services delivered on their mobile phones.