Local retailers hoarding fruit imports amid Covid-19 tensions
Prices of food items from Iran such as pistachio, saffron, raisins, fresh fruits, dates, vegetables and other imports are likely to rise in the near term, say Dubai retailers.
Amid Covid-19-related tightening of cross-border travels and news of Dubai cancelling flights to and from Iran – local Iranian retailers are said to be stocking up on food imports from the country as they fear this may affect the flow of goods in the near term.
“At the moment we are still receiving food shipments from Iran,” Mehdi Kaha Bazi, an Iranian trader who runs a retail shop in Al Ras, Dubai. “But we don’t know how long this will continue. With Ramadan coming up and the demand for dry fruits soaring, we (local Iranian retailers) in UAE are stocking up on dry fruit and other food items that are popular in UAE from Iran. We have to ensure there is enough supply for the next few months, especially during Ramadan.”
In 2018, UN Comtrade stated that key food imports from Iran into UAE stood at over $130 million. The key food importing items included:
- Dates – fresh and dried (18,473.08 mln tons valued $7.7 million)
- Kiwi fruit (3,509.23 million tonnes valued $1.46 million
- Grapes – dried (11,146.03 million tonnes valued $17.19 million)
- Apples – fresh (34,721.98 million tonnes valued $37.56 million)
- Tomatoes – fresh / chilled (18,557.26 million tonnes valued $10.53 million)
- Other leguminous vegetables, shelled or unshelled, fresh or chilled (118,994 million tonnes valued $38.26 million
- Cucumbers and gherkins – fresh and chilled (4,528.98 million tonnes valued $0.47 million)
- Mushroom of the genus agaricus – fresh and chilled (779.19 million tonnes valued $1.66 million)