On average over the period 1999-2001, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Iraq had almost half of the harvested area of the world.
Trade figures indicate that about 93 percent of the date harvest is consumed locally and that by far the majority of these palms are not of the well-known export varieties.
Of the 500 000 tonnes exported, 225 000 tonnes were imported by India, 150 000 tonnes by the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and about 60 000 tonnes by the EC. Changes are often associated with political and economic instability in the main producing countries.
Unseasonable weather can also lead to production and storage losses.
During 1991 there was a sharp fall in exports again, resulting in a net export of only 243 000 tonnes.
This fall is due to the fact that Iraq exported only 20 000 tonnes compared to 248 000 tonnes in 1989 as a result of the trade embargo imposed on it following its invasion of Kuwait in 1990.
Conversely, output decreased in Iraq (due to the trade embargo) and Morocco (due to phytosanitary problems).
There are so many formats available, most of them incompatible with others, that it can be a usability nightmare to choose a date representation when writing for an international, cross-cultural audience, as is the case on the web.
Fortunately, there is one solution in the ISO-developed international date format.
TABLE 14Main countries producing dates Source: FAOSTATMost of the major date producing countries have steadily expanded production over the last 10 years, representing a 43 percent increase over the period 1994 to 2001.
Over the same period, date exports increased by only 25 percent.There was a steady increase in world export, from about 260 000 tonnes in 1961 to 400 000 tonnes in 1970 (Fig 22), followed by a slight decrease until 1980.