Dubai’s external food trade valued at Dhs32bn in H1 2020
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Dubai’s external food trade valued at Dhs32bn in H1 2020

Dubai’s external food trade valued at Dhs32bn in H1 2020

The emirate’s food imports reached Dhs22bn, while exports were recorded at Dhs5.5bn and re-exports amounted to Dhs4.5bn

Dubai Food Security

Dubai’s external food trade volumes in the first half of 2020 totalled 9 million tonnes, valued at Dhs32bn, Dubai Customs confirmed on Monday.

The emirate’s food imports reached Dhs22bn (6.23 million tonnes), while exports were recorded at Dhs5.5bn (2.1 million tonnes) and re-exports amounted to Dhs4.5bn (733,000 tonnes) in H1 2020, reported Dubai Media Office.

Dubai’s external fish trade reached 98,000 tonnes during the period. Fish imports were valued at Dhs755m (76,000 tonnes), exports were approximately at Dhs145.5m (9,000 tonnes) and re-exports were confirmed at Dhs113.2m (12,500 tonnes).

In June, Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, visited Fish Farm in Dubai’s Jebel Ali that opened in 2013 and is capable of producing about 3,000 tons of organic fish per year to oversee measures to boost domestic food production.

Read: Sheikh Mohammed visits Fish Farm in Dubai, encourages domestic food production

Meanwhile, trade in livestock and meats during H1 2020 was recorded at Dhs3.9bn (448,000 tonnes). These included imports worth Dhs3bn (313,500 tonnes), exports of Dhs478.6m (92,400 tonnes) and re-exports at Dhs437.6m (42,000 tonnes).

Trade in vegetables and fruits amounted to Dhs7bn (3.4 million tonnes), which included imports worth Dhs4.5bn (2.2 million tonnes), exports of Dhs1.8bn (892,000 tonnes) and re-exports valued at Dhs700.8m (285,200 tonnes).

“The high value of Dubai’s external food trade in the first half of the year reflects Dubai’s role as a major gateway for global trade. The trade volumes also validate the effectiveness of food security strategies and the efforts of Dubai’s Food Security Committee to ensure high levels of preparedness to tackle unforeseen challenges,” said Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management.

Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai and chairman of Dubai Executive Council, has previously reviewed the plans of the Dubai Food Security Committee that was launched in response to the Covid-19 crisis to ensure that there was no shortage of food supplies in the country.

In June, Sheikh Mansoor launched a Food Security Dashboard that uses artificial intelligence and data analytics to rapidly measure the five important indicators of food security: the supply index, stock availability, local production, consumption levels, and the cost of vital commodities within the emirate.

The Dubai Customs supports the Dashboard by not only enabling food trading groups and food supply companies to conduct trade but also providing up-to-date data on the trade of food commodities and materials through a messenger system that sources information from customs clearances.

“The Dubai Food Security Dashboard, developed by a local government team, uses advanced technology to optimise food trade and stocks, manage price control and find alternative food import routes and sources,” added Sheikh Mansoor.

Last month, the UAE’s Federal Competitiveness and Statistics Authority said that the value of the country’s food products traded in Q1 2020 totalled Dhs31.7bn.

Read: UAE food products trade amounted to Dhs31.7bn in Q1 2020

In May, the UAE Cabinet approved a national security draft law authorising the formation of a team, headed by the UAE’s minister of state for food security and members of the public and private sector, to develop the modern agriculture sector in the country and to expand food production.

The Emirates Council for Food Security monitors food imports to follow their movement within the supply chain.

The National Food Security Strategy aims to create a comprehensive national system based on enabling sustainable food production and identifying the requirements of the national food basket that includes 18 key items.

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