Food imports touch AED22 billion while exports reach AED5.5 billion
External trade in medical supplies in the first half of 2020 reaches AED12.4 billion
Dubai Customs announced today that the emirate’s external food trade volumes in the first half of the year totalled 9 million tonnes, representing a value of AED32 billion. According to the latest trade statistics, Dubai’s food imports touched AED22 billion (6.23 million tonnes), while exports reached AED5.5 billion (2.1 million tonnes) and re-exports amounted to AED4.5 billion (733,000 tonnes) in H1 2020.
His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Dubai’s Supreme Committee of Crisis and Disaster Management said 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.
HH Sheikh Mansoor noted that Dubai’s approach is in line with the forward-looking vision of Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum; the commitment of Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan to ensure the “UAE food supply chain will never be impacted”; and the directives of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince and Chairman of The Executive Council of Dubai. Dubai’s Food Security Committee, launched in response to the COVID-19 crisis, has succeeded in ensuring the community had access to abundant food supplies in spite of the challenges posed by the pandemic, he said.
Dubai’s Food Security Dashboard
“Dubai has developed innovative solutions to monitor and strengthen food security. 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,” Sheikh Mansoor said. His Highness praised the work done by government agencies to develop the Dashboard as a smart tool for supporting Dubai’s food security strategy.
Launched by His Highness Sheikh Mansoor bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum in June, the Food Security Dashboard strengthens the efforts of the Dubai Food Security Committee in alignment with the UAE’s broader food security framework. The Dashboard 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 in 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 draws information from customs clearances.
Trade Volumes of Key Food Commodities
According to statistics issued by Dubai Customs, Dubai’s external fish trade reached 98,000 tonnes in the first half of 2020. Fish imports reached AED755 million (76,000 tonnes), exports around AED145.5 million (9,000 tonnes) and re-exports AED113.2 million (12,500 tonnes). Trade in livestock and meats reached AED3.9 billion (448,000 tonnes). These included imports valued at AED3 billion (313,500 tonnes), exports at AED478.6 million (92,400 tonnes) and re-exports at AED437.6 million (42,000 tonnes).
Trade in vegetables and fruits amounted to AED7 billion (3.4 million tonnes), which included imports valued at AED4.5 billion (2.2 million tonnes), exports at AED1.8 billion (892,000 tonnes) and re-exports at AED 700.8 million (285,200 tonnes).
His Excellency Ahmed Mahboob Musabih, Director General of Dubai Customs, said: “The UAE and Dubai place food security at the top of their priorities. Dubai is keen to harness its logistics capabilities, advanced technologies and proactive thinking to strengthen food security.” Musabih added that Dubai Customs facilitates food trade and provides all relevant data to the Food Security Dashboard to help strategic partners plan their operations, make food security-related decisions and mitigate any impact of the global COVID-19 crisis.
“Food trade figures in the first half of 2020 reflect a healthy and robust economy. The high volumes helped ensure food security and meet local market needs for different food commodities in a timely manner even at the height of the global COVID-19 crisis,” Musabih said. “A number of initiatives taken by the government including the launch of a generous stimulus package boosted the business continuity of players in the sector and the broader economy,” he added.
The Director General of Dubai Customs also revealed that the value of Dubai’s external trade in medical supplies in the first half of 2020 topped AED12.4 billion (79,800 tonnes), which included AED9.7 billion (58,100 tonnes) worth of imports, AED293.5 million (7,400 tonnes) worth of exports and AED2.3 billion (14,200 tonnes) worth of re-exports.