Being among the most important dates producers and being the 3rd importer of this fruit, Morocco is one of the biggest consumers of dates in the world. Its local consumption exceeds its production capacity.
In 2022, Morocco was the 3rd largest importer of dates in the world after India and Egypt. Yet Morocco with other African countries represents 40% of the world production of dates in 2021, according to FAOStat.
In 2010-2021, the kingdom grew by almost 50% and Morocco is now the world’s 14th largest producer of dates, according to Eastfruit, but even being one of the main producers of dates, Morocco does not appear in the list of largest exporters, and for good reason, national demand exceeds production.
In addition, Moroccan date exports focus on premium varieties of dates, which are rarer and more expensive, such as the famous Majhool, typically Moroccan.
Dates are the most imported fruit by Morocco in 2022 and this is explained by the quantities of dates consumed in the country. On average, an inhabitant consumes around 7 kg of dates per year in Morocco against 1 kg as the world average.
According to Data Trade Monitor, Moroccan date imports between January and March 2023 were concentrated in 4 markets which share similar shares.
These are the United Arab Emirates and Tunisia in first place each totaling 25% of imports, followed by Egypt and Algeria with 22% each, while the remaining 6% come from different countries.
It should be noted that exports of Algerian dates to Morocco have more than quintupled over the past 5 years despite diplomatic crises, Algeria continues to make Morocco one of its main customers in terms of dates.
To satisfy the ever-growing domestic demand, Morocco continues to increase its date imports. Observing import volumes shows this upward trend. In 2017, Morocco imported 70,000 tons of dates compared to 109,000 tons worth $213 million, or more than 31% of Morocco’s total expenditure on fruit and vegetable imports in 2022, Eastfruit says.