The government has decided to limit olive and olive oil exports to prevent rising prices at the beginning of the production cycle.
The move comes as the price of olive oil in the Moroccan market remains high, exceeding MAD 80 per liter.
The Customs and Indirect Taxes Administration announced these restrictions, which will continue until the end of December 2024.
These restrictions apply to ten different types of olives and olive oil, stipulating that exporters must secure prior authorization from the authorities.
The restrictions include various olive products, including fresh or refrigerated olives, uncooked olives, olives boiled in water or steamed, frozen olives, temporarily stored olives unsuitable for direct consumption, dried olives in different forms, and olives prepared or preserved in vinegar or acetic acid, whether frozen or not.
Prior to the beginning of the autumn production cycle, there was an expectation that olive oil prices would decline. But professionals report that prices have remained high, with some olive presses charging up to MAD 90 for a single liter.
This year’s olive production in the autumn is projected to reach approximately 1.07 million tons, similar to the previous season’s output, according to official data from the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water, and Forests.
The ministry’s data indicates a 44% decrease in expected olive production compared to the 2021 autumn production, which amounted to 1.9 million tons.
Reduced production has mainly affected the Marrakech-Asfi, Eastern, and Beni Mellal-Khenifra regions, with percentages of -42%, -17%, and -10%, respectively.
This decrease in olive production is due to the persistent drought in the past two seasons, leading to ongoing water stress in various production areas. The intensity varies based on water sources and regions.
On top of that, April heatwaves significantly impacted olive orchards in various areas, alongside adverse effects of cold weather in some Eastern regions, particularly the Taourirt province.