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Imported Saudi Dates in India

Starting a Successful Dates Company in India, Things you must know...

Dates are widely popular, and people relish the delicious and nutritious fruit. They are cultivated in tropical regions, particularly in the Arabic world.

While they are imported across the globe, establishing a date business in India could be a lucrative venture. In India, dates are not only consumed regularly but are also exchanged as gifts or served at various events.

Numerous factors contribute to making the date business an excellent and profitable choice in India. To succeed in this venture, it is crucial to be well-versed in some essential aspects of the date business.

What is the potential of the date business in India?

India stands as one of the largest markets for every business, boasting a population exceeding 138 billion people. This demographic magnitude makes India a formidable market for the dates business, and it is also a significant producer of dates. Regions such as Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and notably the Kutch district of Gujarat are renowned for their date cultivation.

Despite being a producer, India's production falls short of meeting the domestic market's demands. In the past year, India imported over 57,000 metric tons of dates from other countries to bridge the gap. However, this importation remains insufficient, accounting for only a small percentage of the overall demand, which continues to grow each year. Consequently, the dates business has emerged as one of the most promising ventures in India.

India, being the second-largest importer of dates globally, witnesses a significant demand, especially during events like Ramadan, where more than 385 thousand tons of dates were consumed in the previous year. The major sources of these imports include Iran, Algeria, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. However, due to political issues and trade restrictions, dates from Pakistan are presently excluded.

Four prominent types of date fruits find their way into the Indian market: Zahedi from Iraq, Mazafati from Iran, Burni from Saudi Arabia, and Deglet Nour from Algeria and Tunisia. Zahedi dates are particularly popular in India due to their appealing color, taste, and affordability. Although Deglet Nour boasts good taste, it is comparatively expensive, leading to lower demand compared to other date varieties.

Importing dates into India involves a step-by-step procedure. Firstly, obtaining an Importer Exporter Code (IEC) from the regional Joint DGFT is essential, serving as registration for trading legal products. Dates fall under the category of 'legal items' for import, alleviating concerns about legal restrictions. While some products or countries may face import bans, dates encounter no such issues in India.

Notably, no import license is required for dates, as they are free to import without the need for prior permission. Filing the bill of entry and providing the Permanent Account Number (PAN) are subsequent requirements, furnishing details such as quantity, value, country of origin, and other essential transaction information.

The final procedural step involves determining the import duty for the clearance of imported dates, which currently stands at 26.85 percent in India. This comprehensive process ensures a smooth and legal pathway for importing dates, contributing to the flourishing dates business in the country.

Government regulations about dates imported into India.

Dates are agricultural products, and their import is legal. You do not need to get special approval or a license to import dates into India. After obtaining the IEC and providing your transaction filling bill entry and details, you can import dates from any country except Pakistan.

Where to Buy Dates Wholesale in India?

Generally, dates in India are imported from Iraq, the UAE, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Oman. But in India, you can choose Iraq or Iran to import dates because they provide high-quality and inexpensive dates that are very popular in India.

How to store dates?

Your imported dates may take some time to sell, but during that time, you need to arrange proper facilities to keep the dates fresh and protect their quality and taste.

Store at room temperature

If you have semi-dry date varieties with you, you can also store them at a moderate temperature for a couple of months by placing them in an airtight container. But ensure protection from heat sources; you can keep sukkhari, wanan, khidri, and Ajwa.

Refrigerate Dates

You can store the Dates for up to 6 months by storing them in the refrigerator at 4 degrees centigrade. Refrigerator storage is recommended for Sega, Kholas, and Medjool. You can keep it in a sealed container to protect against condensation and odours. For ample storage, you can arrange a chiller facility.

Freeze Dates

For long-term storage, freezing is the best option to store all varieties of dates for a couple of years. If you arrange their storage at -18 degrees centigrade, you can keep dates for two years without damaging their quality.

It is an ideal temperature to store dates, but there is a chance that humidity may affect the preservation because the date is a high-sugar item, and humidity can spoil it. But before storing them at this temperature, make sure you have packed them properly in an airtight container to protect them from moisture.

Where to sell dates in India?

Dates are widely used in India, and their demand is almost in all regions of India. It is demanded heavily during Ramadan in Muslim-populated states in India. But Delhi, Lucknow, West Bengal, Kerala, Srinagar, Mumbai, and Hyderabad are the most attractive markets for the sale of dates in India.


Dates are delicious and nutritious fruits that are loved to eat. Among the largest importers of dates, India is the second-largest importer globally. If you have planned to start a date business in India, then our above-shared information about the date business could assist you in making your business successful.


importing dates from saudi arabia
APEDA Report - India's import statistics of Dates from Saudi Arabia


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