HomeEconomyMoroccan tomatoes on the podium of major world exporters

Moroccan tomatoes on the podium of major world exporters

The 2022 season has been prodigious for Moroccan tomato exports, which represent half of the fruits and vegetables exported. Third largest exporter of tomatoes in the world, according to EastFruit data, Morocco is second only to the Netherlands (second) and the champion in all categories Mexico, which thanks to its exclusive market in the United States s offers the best place on the podium of ranking of the world’s largest exporters.

It must be said that since 2020, the Kingdom has been performing despite a difficult global context. Indeed, 629,510 T of tomatoes were exported in 2021, for a value of 9.2 billion DH. The 2022 season exports marked a record with 670,000 T of tomatoes. From fifth place as a world exporter of tomatoes in 2021, Morocco has moved to third position in 2022, suddenly overtaking Iran and Spain.

The Kingdom also shows the highest increase in exports in one year (more than 17%) among all the countries in the world, still indicates the Russian EastFruit. The latter noted that the export volume of Moroccan tomatoes has gradually increased to its main partners, while its exports to the United Kingdom have exploded, thus recording the fastest growth.

Despite the problems, Morocco was able and knew how to maintain stability for its tomato exports, thus honoring its commitments to its international customers. Of these funds it is France which occupies the firsttime position in the list of countries importing Moroccan tomatoes, with France receiving more than half of the quantity exported for this purpose. Russia until 2018 figured as the runner-up to France, but since Brexit it has been replaced by the United Kingdom, which maintains this stubborn rank.

Russia, currently the fifth importer of Moroccan tomatoes, imported a volume of 35,718 T of Moroccan tomatoes in 2020, i.e. 3 times less than in 2016. Russia only imports 10% of this product today, while the Kingdom was its first supplier five years ago. That said, Moroccan tomato exports to the four other main European markets have seen clear increases (+6% to France, +153% to the United Kingdom, +102% to Spain and even +472% to the Netherlands which re-exports them).

These results, however satisfactory they may be, should not lead to blissful optimism. Indeed, the tomato as well as other market garden products due to unfavorable weather conditions in several European and African countries, including the Kingdom in particular, could very well find themselves in a situation of shortage. In Morocco as in Spain, bad weather has disrupted vegetable harvests this year. During the first weeks of 2023, it was very cold in the market gardening regions, particularly in the Souss-Massa region, the main tomato production area in Morocco.

This situation impacted the tomato harvest in March, leading to a shortage in Europe of tomatoes, peppers, zucchini… and prices rose by 11% without fully covering demand. In addition, Moroccan producers and exporters are suffering from increased costs and this is linked to the conflict in Ukraine. At all levels, prices have exploded fertilizer, water, packaging, transport…



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