The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia is among the leading producers of quality dates where the per capita consumption of dates is highest in the world. We studied the global markets in terms of date importing and date exporting countries. Among the five groups of importing countries, the first group comprised of European Union, North America, Australia and New Zealand, group two comprised of Eastern Europe, Turkey and Russia, group three of the Gulf countries in the Middle-East including the States of Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait, group four of the Arab States of Jordan, Syria, Morocco, Lebanon and Yemen while the fifth group from South Asia comprised of India, Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The date exporting countries were categorized into three groups namely, the first group being USA, Mexico, South Africa and Israel, the second comprising of Egypt, Iran, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, UAE, Iraq and Oman while the third group of exporting countries being Tunisia and Algeria. We calculated the average price of dates for each of the groups of importing and exporting countries and studied the status of Saudi Arabian dates in the global markets and their suitability for exports. Five potential strengths of Saudi Arabian dates were identified that may be used either individually or collectively to strengthen the exports of dates from the Kingdom in each of the five date importing groups of countries where we also determined the potential market opportunities.
Key words: Dates, Saudi Arabia, exports, imports, global markets, strengths, opportunities.
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