Dried fruit starts to top exports for Brunei, perhaps (9)
I believe the answer is:
'for brunei perhaps' is the definition.
(brunei is a kind of sultanate)
'dried fruit starts to top exports' is the wordplay.
'dried fruit' becomes 'sultana' (sultana is a kind of dried fruit).
'starts to' says to take the initial letters.
The first letters of 'top exports' is 'te'.
(Other definitions for sultanate that I've seen before include "Country" , "Turkey was" , "Brunei?" , "Muslim dominion" .)