Despite the consecutive drought episodes experienced by Morocco, the country continued to increase its onion exports to reach 65,000 tonnes between June 2022 and February 2023, according to the specialized portal EastFruit.
Although the Kingdom experienced its worst drought in 2022, Morocco managed to export more than 65,000 tonnes of onions in the first nine months of the June 2022/February 2023 marketing year, more than the entire marketing year. previous 2021/2022 which had reached 60,000 tonnes. In addition, Moroccan onion exports have increased sixfold over the past five years, EastFruit claims.
According to the specialized portal, onions represent one of the most export-oriented vegetable categories in Morocco. In 2022, onions were ranked third among the most exported vegetables from Morocco after tomatoes and peppers. Note that onion exports generally peak in July-August and become minimal after February.
EastFruit explains that the geography of Moroccan onion exports has also changed in recent years, noting that in the 2017/2018 marketing year, Moroccan exporters focused mainly on Mauritania, Ivory Coast and some other African countries.
In Europe, the Netherlands represents only 6% of Morocco’s total onion exports, while the shares of Senegal, Mauritania and Mali have increased considerably, reaching 16%, 26% and 28% respectively. Additionally, Morocco is now the largest exporter of onions to Mali and ranks second among onion suppliers to Senegal and Mauritania.
Moreover, its Moroccan exports are currently focused on West Africa, in particular the western part of the African Sahel, whose countries are forced to increase imports of many agricultural products. Indeed, the Sahel is a region that is today seriously threatened by famine and food shortage, and Morocco, with other suppliers such as the Netherlands or Belgium, covers the production deficit there.
The portal thus recalls that due to the unprecedented drought and active exports, the Moroccan agricultural export authority has banned exports of onions, potatoes and tomatoes to East African countries. West in order to reduce the surge in domestic market prices and ensure food security.