Go Bananas: UAE Grocery Prices Set to Drop

Imports from India are set to drop in price on products like rice, wheat, pulses and spices.

The forecast of a good monsoon in India bodes well for the UAE, as it is one of the largest importers of commodities such as pulses, spices, rice, and wheat from India. With increased production and imports expected due to favourable weather conditions, prices of these essential items in the UAE are anticipated to decrease in the coming months. 

The Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) has facilitated the growth of trade between the two countries, further boosting the availability of Indian goods in the UAE market. Skymet, a private weather forecasting agency, has predicted a normal monsoon in India for 2024, with no impact of El Nino, which is likely to ensure good rainfall across key agricultural regions. This positive outlook for agriculture in states like Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, and Haryana, known as the farm bowl of north India, is expected to contribute to increased production and export of agricultural commodities to the UAE.

The recent decision by India to permit the export of an additional 10,000 tonnes of onions to the UAE just before Eid Al Fitr comes as welcome news, especially considering the surge in onion prices following last year’s export ban. With prices soaring from as low as Dh2-3 per kg to over AED 8 per kg, this move is expected to alleviate the strain on consumers in the UAE. Dr. Dhananjay Datar, chairman and managing director of Aldi Group of Supermarkets, highlighted the favourable conditions of the new crop, prompting the Indian government to authorise exports to key trading partners like the UAE. 

He also noted that the overall agricultural outlook in India, including crops like grains, spices, and vegetables, remains positive due to the absence of floods. The upcoming season, typically from February to March, is crucial for the production of these commodities, and the abundance of supply from India is anticipated to have a beneficial effect on prices in the UAE market, thanks to increased imports.

“Even crops of other foodstuffs and grains are quite satisfactory because there was no flood in India. In February-March 2024, mostly the grain, spices and vegetables come in the season. And good production in India will have a positive impact on the UAE markets in terms of prices as there could be more imports from India,” he said.

With India’s agricultural sector anticipating a bountiful harvest fueled by favourable monsoon rains, consumers in the UAE are in for a treat. The influx of high-quality produce, including fresh fruits, vegetables, and spices, directly from Indian farms promises to enrich local markets with an abundance of options. As supply increases, driven by India’s robust production, prices are expected to trend lower, offering UAE consumers greater affordability and variety when shopping for their favourite produce.

It might be time to stock up your pantry!

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