Morocco’s imports of dried prunes increased significantly over the first eight months of this year. According to East Fruit Media, the country imported 1.7 thousand tons between January and August 2023, valued at more than five million US dollars. In contrast, imports during the previous seven years amounted to just one thousand tons.
Imported prunes entered Morocco in relatively small numbers, ranging from 200 to 250 tons in 2016-2017.
However, they began to gain traction last year and are expected to reach record levels by the end of 2023, as they started to increase throughout the summer.
Spain is the largest provider of dried prunes to Morocco, ranking seventh in the global supplier ranking and accounting for more than half of total Moroccan imports.
Dried prunes are also imported from France, Serbia, and Bulgaria into Morocco. Between 2016 and 2022, the North African country imported prunes from 16 countries in total.
Morocco’s import geography grew in 2023. For the first time in the last eight years, prunes from Uzbekistan (the world’s third largest exporter), Moldova (ranked 12th), Romania, and Poland were imported into the Moroccan market. This product was shipped to Morocco from 11 different countries this year.
Without a doubt, the steep increase in imports combined with the drop in exports shows the creation of a prune deficit in the Moroccan market, noted the same source.
Unfortunately, Morocco experienced the worst drought in 40 years last year, meaning that water scarcity harmed the growing of several agricultural crops, including the production of dried plums.