HomeEconomyDespite water stress, fruits and vegetables are doing well for export

Despite water stress, fruits and vegetables are doing well for export

Moroccan tomato exports to the European Union (EU) do not care about the water stress currently affecting the Kingdom and confirm an increase of 8% during the month of January compared to the same period of the previous year. For an average price of 1.48 euros per kilo, Morocco will have exported 139.28 million kilos of this fruit between October 1 and February 6, 2022, the day before the opening of Moroccan air borders to goods and people.

As for Europe, the tomato from Morocco, which has dominated the fruit and vegetable market for several years, benefited, this winter, from the delay in Dutch production. The latter will have suffered, in fact, some heavy vagaries of energy costs that are very damaging to its performance. They will also have had an impact on selling prices (30% for round tomatoes and 20% for vine tomatoes). The cost of energy in the northern hemisphere is a subject of concern and Spain, Belgium, Germany or Italy also know things about it and suffer somewhat from it against their Moroccan competitor whose price remains more suitable accordingly.

But, for us in fruit and vegetables, it’s not just the tomato that hits the mark. And if water stress is a concern in Morocco, it is not to the point of obscuring its projections towards a better tomorrow. In fact, other sectors provide, in particular those of red fruits (strawberries, raspberries, blackberries or blueberries), avocado, and various other fruits and vegetables. The red fruit sector in particular attracts many local and foreign investors. The Gharb with 65% of the picking is well ahead of the regions producing red fruits. As regards the avocado, with the increasing extension of the areas dedicated to the avocado tree which are close to ten thousand hectares, Morocco has recorded for some years a constant increase in the production of avocados, the volume of which intended for the Export shows an increase of 31% during the current 2021-2022 season.

A year ago to the day, the Kingdom broke the record for its fruit and vegetable exports to the EU. The success symbolized the many efforts made within the framework of the Green Morocco Plan strategy, to ensure the competitiveness and reputation of Moroccan products at the global level. In fiscal year 2020, the Kingdom sold 1,443,820 tons of fruit and vegetables (to the EU, 16.92% more than in 2019 and 33.49% more than five years before. The value of these exports was EUR 1,993.02 million, 22.85% more than the previous year and 41.84% more than five years ago Vegetable exports had reached 792,800 tonnes for a value of 971.95 million euros, while the volume of fruit that Morocco had exported to the various EU countries was 651,020 tons, sold for 961.08 million euros.

In the case of fruits and vegetables for export, the tomato took the lion’s share with a total volume of 434,870 tonnes worth 529.85 million euros and an average price of 1,218 euros per kilo. Watermelon was the second most exported agricultural product in the EU, with a volume of 214,170 million tonnes for 138.43 million euros and an average price of 0.646 euro/kilo. The only problem with our exports compared to the EU and it is not due to the effects of the drought, it is our citrus fruits where consumption has fallen seriously in the Old Continent as the happiness of tropical fruits increases. The consumption of bananas per inhabitant and per year has increased from 11 kilos in 2007 to 14 kilos in 2020, that of avocados and mangoes from 2 kilos per year in 2007 to 4 kilos in 2020, while the consumption of oranges is fell from 9 kilos to 7 kilos for these same dates, reflecting a clear decline.

It is not only Europe and mainly Spain that is opening up more and more to the Moroccan fruit and vegetable market. The value of Moroccan exports to Spain amounted to 608 million euros in the first nine months of 2021, an increase of 2% compared to 2020 and 25% of Spanish imports at a value of 2, 4 billion euros. The UK has been a major importer of fresh fruit and vegetables since Brexit. Moroccan exporters, especially those of tomatoes, regularly nibble additional shares on the British market to the detriment of their Spanish colleagues, their main competitors, particularly in this sector. Britain imported a total of 72.81 million kg of tomatoes from Morocco in 2020, and 97.33 million kg in 2021. With these volumes, Morocco is now ranked second supplier of this product to the British. , last the Netherlands, while in 2020 it was Spain that occupied the second place on the podium with 79.1 million kg of tomatoes exported.

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