Middle East sales
April 14, 2005
Middle East holds export potential
A trade team that attended a food show in the Middle East reported that there is some potential demand for U.S. dry beans in the region.
Alan Juliuson, Hope, N.D., represented the Northarvest Bean Growers Association. The follow are highlights of the team's report:
Large volumes of red lentils, yellow and green peas, chickpeas and beans are imported and re-exported through the free trade zone in Dubai.
The majority of buyers are smaller-sized companies that re-sell into the region's local markets. Some also produce consumer packaged products. Many of these companies sell to the affluent hotel and restaurant market and are looking for higher quality legumes than are generally traded in the region. These companies generally buy legumes in single or mixed container volumes, but it is a growing niche that would seem to hold the best prospects for U.S. legume exporters.
Food is currently being shipped to Iraq from Dubai through private commercial channels. Many people expect that as the country stabilizes this commercial trade will grow. USAID has opened a facility Dubai to pre-position relief aid for disasters and emergencies.
The U.S. industry may not be able to benefit with large export sales of beans to the region until its prices are competitive with Canada's, Argentina's and Peru's. However, demand is growing for high quality legumes.
The culture and distance from the U.S. will make the Persian Gulf market a challenge for many exporters. Rules, regulations and politics change rapidly.
For the complete report, visit Northarvest Web site, www.northarvest.org
At a glance
* Many Middle East buyers are looking for higher quality product to re-sell to affluent
hotels and restaurants.
* Iraq commercial trade will likely grow as the country becomes more stable.
* USAID opens new port facility in Dubai to pre-position relief aid.