Morocco’s carrot exports to Spain skyrocket as EU partners battle drought

Morocco’s carrot exports to Spain skyrocket as EU partners battle drought

Morocco’s carrot exports to the Spanish market saw a significant surge in the 2022/2023 season, with Spain importing 5.7 times carrots from Morocco compared to 2021/2022, thus, surpassing Belgium, the second carrot exporter in Europe, according to the EastFruit.

The same source reported that Morocco’s carrot exports to the Spanish market this year surpassed the combined exports of the previous six seasons.

Moroccan growers experienced a substantial raise in their exports to Spain, delivering over 1,500 tons valued at 720,000 USD, with the peak occurring in February-March of this year.

Lahoucine Aderdour, head of the Moroccan Interprofessional Federation for the Production and Export of Fruits and Vegetables, told MoroccoLatestNews about the reason for this significant increase in exports of carrots to Spain, and their potential effects on the domestic markets.

Aderdour attributed this substantial surge in Spain’s import of Moroccan carrots to a combination of factors, two of which were drought in Europe as well as supply and demand.

The expert explained to MoroccoLatestNews that the increasing imports of Moroccan carrots in the Spanish market are influenced by specific demand dynamics where supply and demand play a crucial role.

“There is a specific market demand in Spain. It is all about supply and demand. If farmers find a suitable market with a good price to export their products, they will choose it. In the Spanish markets, if there is a demand, of course, the farmers will export their products,” said Aderdour.

The increase in Moroccan carrot exports to the Spanish market can also be correlated with production shortages in some European countries. Hence, it will provide Moroccan growers with opportunities to fill the supply gap and cater to the rising demand.

“There is a shortage in production in some European countries, especially those that produce vegetables. As a result, the market becomes open to the export of some Moroccan products, and there is a demand for them,” added Aderdour.

The EastFruit indicated that the drought that hit Europe in 2022 played a significant role in opening up the Moroccan market, as France, Portugal, and Spain were all affected by the drought wave and its repercussions.

Talking about the Moroccan Government’s initiative and exports program, Aderdour emphasized that there wasn’t any actually. Instead, it was weather conditions that largely determined or contributed to this increase in the volume of carrot shipments to Spain.

“Morocco’s carrots are usually exported to the south, namely to African countries and not to Europe. There was no previous export program to Europe. There is a specific demand, and therefore, there is demand for carrots,” explained Aderdour.

As for the potential implications of this surge in exports for the local market, Aderdour confirmed that carrots still remain available in the domestic market.

However, consumers may witness a slight increase in prices because of these shipments to the European market.

“Normally, the price in the domestic market will increase because there is no export program for Europe. We only had the domestic and African markets. Carrots will be taken from the domestic and African markets and exported, depending on the price,” commented Aderdour on the potential increase in carrots prices in the domestic market.

This means that the absence of a pre-planned export program directly targeting Europe this time, instead of Africa, can affect the domestic market to meet international demands.

It’s worth noting that Spain itself is considered a large exporter (and re-exporter) of carrots, securing the 8th rank among the world’s suppliers of these vegetables.

In the 2022/23 year, Morocco has witnessed a substantial surge in carrot exports to Spain, surpassing Belgium to become the fourth-largest supplier to the Spanish market, preceded by the Netherlands, Portugal, and France.

Over the past six years, Morocco’s exports of carrots have increased 7.6 times, amounting to nearly 52,000 tons valued at $12.4 million in the 2022–2023 marketing year.

In terms of global ranking, Morocco rose from 30th in 2017 to 18th in 2022, and during the current growing season, Moroccan carrots were exported to 34 nations.

Morocco used to export carrots mainly to African nations, but recent growth in exports to Spain and Portugal shows that the country has been successful in breaking into the European market in the 2022/2023 marketing year.

In April, Morocco shipped 43,000 tons of carrots in the recent year, with the majority of those exports going to African nations and very little going to European markets.

Mauritania received 60% of Morocco’s exports of carrots, with Senegal, Mali, and Burkina Faso following closely behind.


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