Global Date Market Analysis

global date market analysis

If you are still struggling for an in-depth analysis of the global date market, we strongly recommend reading this article. Over the following sections, we thoroughly dig into the dating market, international trade, and consumption, and point out the countries with the most extensive date fan base.

Based on the FAO 2018 “The State of Food Security and Nutrition in the World” report, our experts at Noshid discovered a growing trend in global date production, and, since, have been able to come up with the summary highlighting the following points:

Biggest Date Producers

This tasty and nutritious palm-tree treat has moved up the value chain and still climbing, according to food experts, dietitians, and nutrients. We are witnessing a spike in date area under cultivation chart across the board, which proves the peaking global interest. According to the 2018 report, the date production by the top 5 date producers globally surpassed 17 million tons, which has undergone a 3.8 times increase compared to the same statistics published by the same countries some ten years ago.

These digits solidify the widespread of date production/usage as a healthy vitamin-filled commodity in the global market. The top five date producers in the world, as mentioned in the FAO 2018 report, are Iran, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Egypt, and Algeria. They are responsible main characters in the global market and have had a significant role in commonizing the product. These countries reinforce the idea that middle-eastern regions accompanied by some north-African states have the most noticeable impact on the global date market.

A more precise glance into the report depicts the gap between the bigger industry overlords and smaller ones in terms of the total quantity.

Egypt, for example, with a total of 1,562,171 tons, leads the other countries in mass-producing dates, and in exemplary capturing the packaging taste and export etiquettes associated whit each government and its consumers, and keeping up with global maintenance standards. The last time Egypt lost the race was back in 1999 to Iran.

The runner-up, Saudi Arabia, achieved 1,302,859 tons in production in the year 2018. The Saudi authorities took notice of date export value back in 2014, and, as a result, we have witnessed a massive leap in the country’s production, which, each year, secures the country’s position as the runner-up or third-largest producer in the world.

The Islamic Republic of Iran comes in 3rd with an annual of 1,204,158 tons of production. Ever since the shortcomings after 1999, Iran has bounced back and forth between the second and fourth.

Algeria has stood fast in fourth place with a quantity of 1,094,700 tons. The government has turned its eyes on this highly profitable industry since a couple of years back and hopes to boost up the productions in the years to come.

Finally, Iraq has only produced 614,584 tons of dates in the last year, which was predictable due to its ongoing havoc in the past years. The recognizable void between Iraq and the other top 5 countries is a direct result of its domestic turbulence, leaving the country way behind some top competitions in the area like Iran or Saudi Arabia.

For better information, take a look at the below chart.

Product per tonne

Biggest Date Exporters

Over 3000 types of dates in the global market, all direct fruition of timid and semi-tropical regions, show just how diversified and distinguished are the demands of the international consumers and how vast it can get. Surprisingly, all these demands are met through the harvest of palm trees in middle-eastern/Asian countries that seem to dominate the market and be undisputed leaders.

With so many options in the basket, the prominent performers rush to pump out as many dates as possible into the market and sell more extensive portions of the market for themselves. In 2018, the total date exports volume reached over one million tons, with countries such as Iraq, Iran, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan taking the first to five spots on the list of countries with the highest quantities of date export.

Despite the enormous decline in its date production, Iraq still has the highest export amount with over 310,000 tons. Dates are the first on the list for Iraq when it comes to exports, earning the government 562/95 million dollars in revenue and topping all other exported goods.

Their neighbor, Iran, ships out 201,597 tons of dates per year, appearing in the second spot. In Iran, due to the four-seasoned, incredibly diverse, and fertile nature of the land, a wide range of fruits are produced annually. Yet, exporting containers after containers of dates takes up the 6th place in the country’s most valuable outgoing trade item. 

Closely following Iran, the UAE secured the third place of the highest volume of exports with 200,887 tons of dates sold to other countries. Through excellent marketing review and practical strategies, the UAE successfully exported roughly 58% of its domestic production, pushing it to be the 6th most demanded commodity from UAE. 

In the fourth place, Saudi Arabia stands with 161,941 tons of exported dates. As yet another Arabic-speaking country in the middle-east in the date industry, Saudi Arabia earned the second-biggest producer title in 2018, which was no shock considering its sun-scorched surface that intensifies its overheated climate. Date export is the seventh most trading exporting activity in Saudi Arabia even though huge domestically-planted fruit ends in the inside markets. 

On the fifth spot is Pakistan, with 136,482 tons in date production, while it only being the 10th most exported item on the government’s list.

Export per tonne

Highest Date Export Revenues

Having the most oversized containers is one thing, but collecting the most revenue from exporting a precious good such as date is a whole other subject. Let’s take a look at countries with the most financial benefits from date exports.

In the first place stand Tunisia with 280/129 million dollars revenue margin. While the Tunisian only exported 126,216 tons, which bought them the sixth place among the countries with the highest outgoing quantities, it was still able to secure the first place when it came down to making the most out of the exported dates. Tunisia’s date export blooms the most profits after its olive oil export.

Saudi Arabia rocks second place with 201/393 million dollars in revenue cultivating. The reason behind this vast financial success lies in the exquisite date quality extracted from Saudi tree farms, where suppliers have a profound understanding of what the global market requires. In return, they are slicing huge chunks of the market for themselves and gaining considerable export income.

Not falling back too much, the UAE threatens to take the Saudi Arabia position if any missteps were to happen. The UAE collects over 197 million dollars in revenue from its annual date export, which translates into the country selling over 50% of its total harvest.

Israel holds the fourth spot with 160/726 million dollars in income from date exports, despite its not making the list of top 5 biggest date producers globally. Date exports play an irreplaceable role in Israeli economics, considering it is the country’s third most valuable commodity in terms of volume and financial gain.

Finally, in the last place, we can see Iran. The country’s total annual date export revenue barely strikes the boundaries of 140 million dollars, making it the seventh most valuable export-worthy product.

Here’s more information on the chart below.

Biggest Date Importers

With such a healthy high-in-demand fruit out there, governments have picked up the pace to supply their domestic markets with it. At the top of these governments stands India’s culturally-diverse state, whose date import immensely out scales other countries. India imports 414,619 tons of date in the just year 2018, dedicating a considerable portion of the market to itself. Also, the dry date is widely popular in the country due to its ease of preservation. 

The European market has likewise grown a particular taste for middle-eastern/North African dates, and it has exploded in demand for S-tier dates; only compared to the year 2015 – with 100 tons in volume – the European share from international date import has surpassed 150 in 2018, which indicates how much the European households cherish this unique treat.

There is no date production in the European continent due to its generally mild climate and lush landscape, which means they can import as much as the inner-circle of influential producers have to offer. As mentioned above, the medical features of dates have recently hit the European household radar, and, ever since, the governments have been continuously trying to increase import volumes to meet their consumer demand. However, we will not put the UN on our list since they represent a Union and not a single country! 


Right behind the European council sits the UAE government with the total import volume of 150,098 tons, which, if you go back and check, can confirm that almost balances the country’s export quantity. 

In the third place, we can confirm Morocco, with a quantity of 97,437 tons. Morocco is considered by many as the most desirable export-destination in the African continent, which, ironically, is the birthplace of the most valuable and desired date of all – the Medjool or Medjul.

Yemen takes up the fourth spot on our list. The Saudi Arabian neighboring country in the Arabian peninsula imports over 44,031 tons of dates each year as a constant customer of this beautiful product.

France is our fifth-highest quantity date importer in the world. This European country has the annual incoming shipment of 42,134 tons, one of the many uprising Green-continent demanders of dates as discussed above. 

For more information on date import quantities, feel free to go through the below chart.

Import per tonne

Highest Date Import Values

Now let’s see which country spends the top money on date import. Undoubtedly, India takes the first spot here as it imports gigantic quantities of date each year, which rows out the matter of date quality, and keeps India at the top of the most financially valuable importers. India annually imports the total amount of 257/414 million dollars of dates, stabilizing it in the first place.

After India, Morocco comes into play with 170/721 million dollars worth of date import. It’s considered that date imports are the eighth-most valuable economic trade in the country, which shows how much Moroccans love this tough-textured offering. 

The UAE, same as always, once again is found in the list, landing at the third place with 107/195 million dollars invested in importing dates, a figure that is too close to the country’s total value of date export. The UAE government trick is to export unpackaged high quantities of dates and sell them after they’ve gone through processing and are again introduced into the global market in appealing pouches and casings.

As described above, France maintains a sturdy position for itself as the fourth most country with a sizeable quantity of date imports – which equals to around 100 million dollars per year). As mentioned, France is a leading figure in the UN in terms of date import. They rack up substantial revenue margins by distributing and selling these imported quantities to local vendors.

The fifth country is the United States. With almost 98/909 million dollars in date import, the US truly understands the worth of this middle-eastern/African dedicated product and has been known as one of the biggest buyers in the market.

For further analysis, please check out the below chart.

Import per value

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