Azerbaijan has recorded a big increase in food and drink imports throughout 2016 – welcome news for exporters looking to explore one of Central Asia’s most vibrant markets.
Food products accounted for 15.5% of total import volumes during 2016, according to data from Azerbaijan’s State Customs Committee. $1.3 billion worth of foodstuffs was imported by the nation – an increase of 34.9% compared with 2015’s levels.
So what was on Azerbaijan’s imports menu over the previous twelve months? According to data, there is a growing demand for some core product groups. Namely, meat, fruits and vegetables, teas, oils and fats and butter.
Imports of meat, including beef and pork, rose a staggering 94.4%, reaching a valuation of $38.22 million. During the first quarter of 2016, meat import levels had already grown by 13.62%, which suggests a massive surge in demand for meat across Azerbaijan.
Practically all of the most popular imported foodstuffs saw demand double across 2016. Butter increased twofold, as did oil and fats, reaching a valuation of $48.3 million, whereas tea imports were close to tripling at 2.7 times and worth $44.7 million. Comparatively, milk grew 34.4% with imports worth $8 million.
Fruits and vegetable was the highest value food sector in 2016. Azerbaijan saw $135 million worth of produce enter the country, which was a 2.3 increase in comparison with 2015. Interestingly, exports of fruits and vegetables to Azerbaijan appear to have been growing, despite the nation’s fertile agriculture landscape.
Comparing the first quarter of 2015 with 2014, for example, shows $14 million more fruits and vegetables entering the country.
Azerbaijan’s government is committed to establishing food security for its population of 9 million people. However, the nation's population is projected to reach 11 million by 2050, according to a report from the United Nations, suggesting that despite its best efforts food and drink will remain a vital part of the Azerbaijan's international trade makeup for years to come.
If you want to take advantage of the opportunities Azerbaijan is presenting for food and drink export, you need to be at WorldFood Azerbaijan 2017 between 17-19 May 2017 at the Baku Expo Centre.
Leading Azerbaijani food industry figures, including retailers, buyers and importers, will be in attendance, providing your company to get your products seen by the high-purchasing power players that really matter.
Learn more about WorldFood Azerbaijan today and get in touch to book your space at the show now.