Algeria Set to Take Control of Date Exports

Fresh Date
Published May 30, 2021
2021 is set to be a historic season for Algerian date production, with the country expecting its largest harvest to date. Previously Algerian dates were traded through Tunisian companies. However, the Algerian government has stated that the country’s dates be exported directly to foreign destinations without intermediaries. This is a move that is set to boost export revenue for Algerian producers and traders.

Tridge interviewed Issam Eddine, the General Manager of Eurl Issam Eddine Matallah Production and Packaging of Dates, to gain insight. Eurl Issam Eddine Matallah Production and Packaging of Dates is a date producer and processing company based in Algeria. The company is looking forward to exporting fresh dates, date paste, and other date preparations for the first time this year.

Date products marketed by Eurl Issam Eddine Matallah Production and Packaging of Dates.

Record harvest expected

Algerian date production has been increasing steadily over the past ten years, from 644K metric tonnes in 2010 to 1.1M metric tonnes in 2019. This year’s production is set to surpass previous years due to the country’s improved production infrastructure. Algerian Deglet Nour dates are highly considered, nicknamed “Queen of all Dates.” Although the deglet nour variety is produced in Tunisia, Libya, and the US, Algeria remains the top producer.

“The new date season is set to begin in the fall. We are anticipating an excellent harvest this year. Algerian dates have a good reputation due to their high quality, and the deglet nour variety is considered the best variety,” explained Eddine.

No intermediaries

Tunisia is the largest global exporter of dates in value and is one of the leading producers. Historically, Tunisia commercialized Algerian deglet nour dates internationally and acted as an intermediary, with Algerian producers selling their dates to Tunisian firms who exported the products to global markets. The Algerian government has decided to cease this arrangement and allow Algerian businesses to export their products directly. This will aid date farmers and traders in the country, allowing them to earn more for their products and establish direct trade relationships with importing countries.

Potential markets

India is the largest importer of dates worldwide and has significant market potential for Algeria. According to the International Trade Centre’s (ITC) Export Potential Map, the markets with the highest potential for exports in the MENA region are Morocco and the UAE. The combined untapped import potential is judged to be over USD 235M. This represents opportunities for Algeria, which can profit from zero tariffs under the Greater Arab Free Trade Area deal. Previously, Tunisia exported Algerian dates to the European market, and the Algerian trade department is expected to continue to pursue that region.

“We are now planning to export to Europe (France, Germany, Italy, Spain). We are looking into the US, India, and China as well. We are confident with the superior quality of our dates and feel that they will be competitive in any market. We are looking to create good relationships and find lucrative markets for all our products, “ concluded Eddine.

A date palm plantation. (Source: Ecomena)


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