TABLE 14Main countries producing dates Source: FAOSTATMost of the major date producing countries have steadily expanded production over the last 10 years, representing a 43 percent increase over the period 1994 to 2001.Over the same period, date exports increased by only 25 percent.On average over the period 1999-2001, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had almost half of the harvested area of the world.
However, if imports are deducted from gross exports, the five leading net exporting countries since 1991 have been: Iran, Pakistan, Tunisia, Algeria and Saudi Arabia. Figure 23 shows clearly the dominance of the UAE and Iran in the export market regarding volumes.
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Zaid Date Production Support Programme Updated by Pascal Liu, FAO Date production is a world agricultural industry producing about 5.4 million metric tonnes (Mt) of fruit.
The date fruit, which is produced largely in the hot arid regions of South West Asia and North Africa, is marketed all over the world as a high-value confectionery and fruit crop and remains an extremely important subsistence crop in most of the desert regions.
In 1998-2000, an average of almost 500 000 tonnes of dates were exported annually with a total value of about US8 million.