In 2022 Saudi Arabia became the biggest importer of grapes from Egypt, leaving behind the Netherlands, the previous year’s leader, according to EastFruit. Furthermore, Saudi Arabia showed the most active growth rates of imports from Egypt, with trade to have grown manyfold over the past years!
In 2018-2022 Egypt managed to more than quadruple its table grape exports to Saudi Arabia, and their volumes were averagely growing by 45% annually. As a result, Saudi Arabia, with imports of 29,000 tonnes, became the largest importer of grapes from Egypt, leaving behind the Netherlands and the UK with their respective imports of 26,000 tonnes each. Remarkably, in 2021, the UK and the Netherlands ranked 1st and 2nd in the list of the biggest importers of Egyptian grapes.
Growing exports of table grapes from Egypt were one of the main reasons for the rise in Saudi Arabia’s total imports of these fruits. In 2018-2022, Saudi Arabia raised its total imports of grapes by almost 40%, with only Italy having the growth rates comparable to Egyptian ones.
In 2018-2022, Egypt increased its grape exports to Saudi Arabia 4.5 times, while Italy raised them almost three-fold. Other countries showed much less export growth rates, Turkey reduced its presence by 40%, and Lebanon’s grape exports fell to zero in 2022 despite their leading position in 2020.
According to FAOStat, Saudi Arabia annually produces more than 100,000 tonnes of grapes. However, these volumes are not enough to satisfy the domestic market, and Saudi Arabia is the biggest importer of grapes among the Gulf countries. For comparison, the UAE annually imports just 45,000-60,000 tonnes of grapes, while annual imports in Qatar and Bahrain amount to 6,000-8,000 tons and 4,000-5,000 tonnes, respectively.
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