Morocco has surpassed South Africa as the largest exporters of blueberries to the United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has become one of the largest consumers of this fruit throughout the world.
According to figures from the East Fruit platform, “Morocco did not export large quantities of blueberries to the UAE in the past, but recently, and due to its continuous search for new markets outside of Europe, it succeeded in topping the list of suppliers of this fruit to the Emirati market in record numbers.”
“Morocco shipped only 211 tons of blueberries to the Emirates in May of 2020 and 2021, before the quantity increased at a record rate in May of the current and previous years to reach 982 tons,” said East Fruit.
The same outlet highlighted that “the value of current Moroccan exports of blueberries directed to the United Arab Emirates reached a total value of $6.3 million.”
“For years, the Netherlands, the United States of America, and then Spain were the main suppliers of blueberries to the Emirates, before South Africa came and topped the list for a long time, constituting a third of total imports,” added East Fruit.
The platform continued, “The current year represented a noticeable increase in Moroccan blueberry exports to the Emirates, after previously representing only 2.6 percent of Abu Dhabi’s total imports, before reaching 36 percent in 2022, then 80 percent in February of the current year.”
Contrary to what is expected about the existence of competition between Morocco and South Africa regarding blueberry exports to the Emirates, the two countries are in fact not competing at all, says the same platform, explaining that Morocco’s claim to the list of suppliers is explained by the fact that it exports blueberries to the Emirates in the period between January and June. At a time when people resort to South Africa between July and December, which makes supplies available throughout the year for Emirati consumers.
According to East Fruit, “berry exports have made Morocco one of the largest exporters in the world, ranking seventh in the world in 2022, fourth in the category of cultivated berries, surpassing the United States of America.”
“Moroccan berry revenues reached $315 million between the years 2022 and 2023, at a time when tomatoes are still the most important Moroccan exports of vegetables and fruits, in addition to the European market being the first destination for these exports. However, the current trend among Moroccan farmers is to search for new markets and stop… Dependence on the Old Continent,” says East Fruit.