The development of growing technologies, improved selection, the growing popularity of protected cultivation and the constant improvement of quality and freshness preservation technologies – all these factors, according to EastFruit experts, are a threat to the global dried fruit market. After all, most consumers would prefer fresh apricots to dried apricots and fresh grapes to raisins.
However, in many countries, especially in the Central Asian region, dried fruits are an important traditional food product. In Tajikistan, dried apricots are considered something like an alternative currency of the country. In addition, in many formulations of modern food products, dried fruits are indispensable. Accordingly, dried fruits were, are, and will always be. However, the decrease in the volume of their consumption and the stagnation of world trade in dried fruits with a downtrend in export volumes are the facts that cannot be denied.
Nevertheless, the global trade in dried fruits brings exporting countries up to US $5 billion in revenue per year, which is quite a significant figure. The share of dried fruits in the global trade of fruits and nuts has decreased quite significantly in recent years and, as of 2022, is about 4%.
EastFruit experts decided to analyze which countries are most successful in the context of a narrowing global dried fruit market, and which are losing market share. However, first you need to assess who they are – the leaders of the dried fruit business?
Turkey topped the list of global leaders in dried fruit exports 20 years ago, displacing the United States into second place. Over the past five years, Turkey’s average share of exports reached 19%, while the US declined down to 11%. The United States continued to lose market share, while Türkiye is gaining it. Turkish manufacturers tried to improve the quality of their products, which allowed them to get higher prices. In addition, Türkiye was actively involved in the re-exports of dried fruits, purchasing them from other countries and adding value at home.
In this regard, it is necessary to note a country such as Germany, which was one of the top five exporters of dried fruits, although it practically did not produce any dried fruits itself. This was possible thanks to the efficient processing and branding of dried fruits sourced around the world. Therefore, quality, marketing and price play the most important role in the dried fruit market. By the way, Germany’s share in the market remained stable, despite increased competition.
Overall, the top five: Turkey, USA, Chile, Thailand, and Germany controlled more than half (51%) of global dried fruit exports. Among the leaders were also: China, Iran, South Africa, Afghanistan, Spain, and Uzbekistan.
Only in the recent couple of years has Uzbekistan been able to surpass Spain in terms of dried fruit exports. However, due to the climatic disaster this winter many vineyards will be lost, which will negatively impact exports of raisins from Uzbekistan and the countries’ positions in the ranking of the largest exporters of dried fruits.
Which countries have increased, and which have decreased exports of dried fruits the most over the last five years, among the leading countries?
In addition to the already mentioned Turkey, China, Chile, Afghanistan, and Uzbekistan also quickly increased their exports of dried fruits. Among the top twenty leaders high export growth rates of Serbia ketch attention.
The largest decline was shown by Thailand, which exports dried fruits that are exotic for Europe. In the second half of top-20, a very sharp drop in exports was observed in Argentina. Exports from South Africa and the United States decreased significantly, although percentage wise the decline was not as sharp as in the case of smaller exporters.
Please note that we are talking about exports in value. Considering the significant rates of dollar inflation in recent years, it should be noted that trade volumes decreased more significantly than the value of exports.
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