Morocco’s avocado sector is preparing for a promising season as it kicks off with positive indicators of achieving unprecedented production levels and high-quality avocados, according to Fresh Plaza.
The avocado campaign began with limited quantities in local supermarkets, but starting from mid-November will surge with the export of avocados, especially the widely favored Hass variety that accounted for over 95% of Morocco’s avocado exports last year, Moumen El Achkar, CEO of ECOMAC said in a statement to Fresh Plaza.
“The new season looks very promising. Volumes have significantly increased, thanks to improved yields and the general increase in cultivated areas nationwide,” explained El Achkar.
He added that the weather conditions have been favorable compared to last year’s, and the avocado-growing region of Loukkous has been spared from any heatwave.
Even though there were some challenges with humidity in April and lower vegetation in May, El Achkar emphasized that the resulting damage was minor.
The CEO of ECOMAC confirmed the predictions made by the Association of Avocado Producers (MAVA) a few months ago.
“Volumes have increased by at least 40%, bringing national production to over 60,000 tonnes, a national record,” announced El Achkar.
EL Achkar further highlighted the outstanding quality of avocados this season, saying, “The quality is fantastic this season. We have a good caliber, with a high percentage falling within the 12-20 range.”
He explained that the calibers surpass those in Spain, Israel, or Colombia, giving Moroccan producers an advantage in the competition in the international market.
El Achkar expected that Colombia would be more competitive in this specific segment even if Morocco has portions of 22-24 calibers.
The avocado industry in Morocco is undergoing rapid growth, with a constant increase in cultivated area and competitive prices compared to other producers.
Morocco exported between July 2022 and January 2023 more than 35,000 tons of avocados, a volume up 60% compared to the same period last season, propelling the Kingdom of Morocco to hold the 9th position as the largest avocado exporter in the world.
This new record enabled the Kingdom to gain three places in the ranking, and to place this crop in the 8th category of Moroccan fruits and vegetables with the highest export earnings in 2021, bringing in nearly 90 million US dollars.
The Moroccan avocado industry has grown rapidly over the course of nearly 6 years due to the diversification of destinations conducted at a rapid pace.
During the 2017-2018 season, nearly 75% of exports had gone to Spain, whereas the proportion is only 39% during the 2021-2022 season, allowing Morocco’s avocados to be directly exported to buyers in other countries, including the Netherlands (19%), Germany (10%), and the United Kingdom (3%).
This growth strengthens Morocco’s emergence as an important player in meeting the global demand for avocados.