The UAE dairy sector has continued its strong growth, with total trade through Dubai registering an impressive 33 per cent growth in 2005 over the previous year, according to trade traffic statistics compiled by the Statistics Department of Dubai Ports, Customs and Free Zone (PCFC). More remarkably, milk and dairy trade have increased by a whopping 815 per cent between the year 2000 and 2005.
The total value of milk and dairy trade in 2005 was AED 1.2 billion, as against AED 950 million in 2004. Total imports increased 32.2 per cent from AED 801 million to just over AED 1 billion last year, while exports rose an amazing 168 per cent to touch AED 76 million, compared to AED 28 million in 2004. The total value of re-exports was pegged at AED 123 million, a jump of 2.3 per cent.
Market analysts attribute the surge in imports to the growth in the UAE’s population, fuelled mainly by the significant rise in expatriate workforce resulting from the country’s bustling economic activity. Dubai’s growing stature as a tourist destination of global repute is also cited as a reason, with overseas tourist inflow having increased sizably.
Likewise, analysts ascribe the remarkable 168 per cent year-on-year growth in exports to the proliferation of milk and dairy production facilities across the country. Over the last year, dairy production units have come up in the UAE in a big way, with Dubai alone having many such units.
PCFC Statistics Department commented that the impressive trade figures reflect the strong growth of the dairy sector in the UAE, and said the fact that re-exports failed to keep pace with the surge in imports was an indication of significant increase in domestic consumption of milk and dairy products. The Department attributed the unprecedented growth in exports to the burgeoning number of dairy production units within the UAE.
Milk and cream in solid forms meant for industrial purposes comprised the bulk of the total imports at AED 183 million, followed by milk and cream for non-industrial purposes at AED 169 million. Imports of concentrated milk in non-solid forms were worth AED 134 million, whereas those of non-powdered processed cheese were pegged at AED 105 million. Imports of miscellaneous other dairy products amounted to AED 466 million.
The Netherlands ranked first on the list of top milk and dairies exporters to Dubai, with exports totaling AED 262 million. New Zealand was second with exports worth AED 194 million, followed by Australia, France and the United Kingdom at AED 107 million, AED 69 million and AED 67 million. India, Germany, Malaysia, Ireland, and the USA rounded off the top 10 list. The rest of the countries together accounted for AED 366 million worth of exports.