Saudi date exports exceed $340m: Ministry of Agriculture

Saudi date exports exceed $340m: Ministry of Agriculture
Saudi Arabia produces 1.54 million tons of dates a year (Shutterstock)
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Updated 27 March 2023

Saudi date exports exceed $340m: Ministry of Agriculture

Saudi date exports exceed $340m: Ministry of Agriculture

RIYADH: Date exports from Saudi Arabia grew 5.4 percent in 2022 compared to a year earlier to hit SR1.28 billion ($340 million), the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture has revealed. 

The figures showed that the Kingdom exported more than 300 types of dates, ranking the Kingdom first in value among 113 countries according to the International Trade Center.  

The number of importing countries in 2022 reached 116 countries, according to the Saudi Press Agency, with date quantities produced topping an estimated 1.54 million tons. 

The Kingdom is home to more than 33 million palm trees as well as over 123,000 agricultural holdings distributed across 13 regions of the country. 

Both the palm and dates sector contribute to several significant manufacturing industries, such as food and fodder, medical products, cosmetic products, building materials, among others. 

Dates are an essential fruit among Saudi families, especially during the holy month of Ramadan. 

This is mainly attributed to the high nutritional value associated to dates and the fact that they contain major elements that the body needs, especially after fasting for long hours. 

Nutrition experts advise the importance of eating dates at breakfast as it provides the body with energy, activity and vitality. 

This is linked to the fact that dates contain natural sugars such as sucrose, glucose and fructose, in addition to acids, proteins and vitamins such as vitamins A, B, C and E. 

Dates also contain potassium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, sodium, zinc and magnesium and are known to reduce cholesterol in the blood. 

During Ramadan, the Kingdom’s markets usually witness a booming demand for buying dates, the most prominent types of which are Ajwa, Anbara and Al-Safawi, among others.