Azerbaijan Increases Export of Meat Products to Middle East
2017 October 18 ( Wednesday ) 10:02:20
In 2017, the State Customs Committee of Azerbaijan for the first time in its report showed a significant growth in exports of Azerbaijani meat, meat products and even livestock. For the first six months of 2017, meat was exported in live weight, totaling $ 907 thousand, which is 384% more than for 6 months of 2016 ($ 236.5 thousand). Export of meat and meat products for the first half of the year 2017 was $ 159.8 thousand, which is 299% more than for the same period in 2016 ($ 53.4 thousand). For dairy products, eggs and honey, there was growth by 489% ($ 788.8 thousand for 6 months 2016 and $ 3,806.5 for 6 months 2017).
The main importers of Azerbaijani meat and dairy products in this period were the Arab Gulf countries. Director of Qatar Lulu Group International Mohammad Altaf said that, before the economic blockade of Qatar, the country's businessmen were not interested in importing food products from Azerbaijan and the neighboring countries because of the difficulties in delivering the goods. "However, at present Azerbaijan and the neighboring countries have access to the port of Bender Abbas with the consent of Iran. This allows delivery from the port to Qatar in less than 24 hours," added Altaf.
The head of the Livestock Development Department of the Ministry of Agriculture Halib Abdullayev confirms the interest of the Arabs in the Azerbaijani meat products.
The State Customs Committee does not give information on the name of goods exported to Arab countries, but there is reason to assert that the growth of Azerbaijani exports to these countries is caused by the big interest of Arab buyers to Azerbaijani meat products, vegetables and fruits. For 6 months of 2017, compared with the same period last year, Azerbaijan"s exports to Qatar grew 78 times! In the first half of 2016, Qatar imported for $ 23.67 thousand, and for the same period of 2017 - for $ 2 million 077.5 thousand. Azerbaijan's exports to the UAE grew from $ 6 million 110.44 thousand to $ 6 million 558.44 thousand. In the first six months (2016), Jordan imported goods from Azerbaijan for $ 1 million 403.8 thousand, and a year later this figure rose to $ 3 million 689.1 thousand (263%). Egypt increased imports from Azerbaijan by 479.5% (from $ 224.16 thousand to $ 1 million 075 thousand).
The push to increase the export of Azerbaijani meat products and livestock to the Arab countries was a sharp increase in the visits of Arab tourists to Azerbaijan, as they liked the taste of local mutton and beef. The state"s activity on increasing non-oil export potential also played its role. In an interview with the AzerTaj news agency, the Minister of Economy Shaheen Mustafayev noted the promotion of the Made in Azerbaijan brand in the foreign markets, the organization of export missions and other measures to increase the range of exported non-oil products. At the end of 2016, one export mission was organized in Dubai. Twenty companies that produce fruit juices, natural mineral waters, fruits and vegetables, meat and meat products, honey, milk and dairy products presented their products to customers.
Azerbaijan started exporting meat products abroad, but the production of meat products in the country has increased insignificantly. According to the Statistics Committee, meat production in the first half of 2017 increased by only 2.4%, reaching 312.6 thousand tons, which provides only 34% of the domestic market needs. -0-