UAE grocery prices to lower after growing imports


Grocery prices in the UAE are expected to fall as imports from international markets grow more frequent.

By October, cooking oil prices are expected to fall by 5 per cent to 10 per cent, with wheat prices expected to be fall by 15 per cent to 20 per cent, market sources told Gulf News.

Also estimated to fall by 15 per cent to 20 per cent are sugar prices, after India allows for its export.

The projections follow the Food and Agriculture Organisation’s report that placed the average price index of foods at 154.2 points in June and 140.9 points in July.

However, the impact on retail prices is currently negligible due to inflation and transportation costs, said Dhahjay Datar, managing director of Al Ail Trading.

As supplies gradually continue to reach the international market, food prices will reduce further by the end of the year, he added.

Increased costs when working out shipping and logistics have also contributed to increased retail prices.

“Fortunately, every day we are witnessing the situation being resolved by all the shipping lines,” said Harish Tahliani, managing director of Arab & India Spices.

“At this moment, we are not facing any major hassles and supplies are regular.

“With wheat, we recently commenced processing whole wheat flour at our UAE facility. We will now have a continuous need of wheat to cater to the demand of whole wheat flour in the UAE.”

To ensure stability, the UAE has instructed grocery retailers to request permission from authorities before raising prices of food items.

The policy follows reports from supermarkets that consumers in the country shop more frequently when promised discounts and promotions at grocery stores.

“Due to its resilient food security and supply chain policies, the UAE has been managing effectively,” said Sudkahar Tomar, president of India MiddleEast Agri Alliance, which funds agritech startups.

The UAE’s food and grocery industry is expected to rise at a compound annual growth rate of 9 per cent to value $40.47 billion by the end of 2025, according to Research & Markets.