The top 10 fruit and vegetable trade in Morocco

The top 10 fruit and vegetable trade in Morocco

Morocco has something to be proud of in the fruit and vegetable sector and something to serve as an example to other agricultural countries, says a study prepared by the specialized portal EastFruit.

In a study entitled “Top 10 facts about the fruit and vegetable trade in Morocco that you may have never heard of”, the specialized agriculture portal EastFruit highlights the various developments in the Moroccan agricultural sector, particularly in terms of of exports. Here are the details.

Avocado business culture

The history of the commercial avocado growing industry in Morocco dates back to the 1950s. Since then, avocados, originating from North America, have acquired an important role in the local cuisine, and later, in export of fruits and vegetables.

In terms of fruit and vegetable export, avocados are one of the most important products for Morocco. In 2021, they ranked 8th in Moroccan fruit and vegetable exports by value and were the 4th product with the fastest export growth rates over the past five years. In terms of value, only three fruit and vegetable products experienced faster export growth rates in 2017-2021, namely blueberries, raspberries and watermelons.

Morocco has also extended its export season for this fruit. In the 2017-2018 marketing year, avocado exports peaked between November and March, while now the Kingdom is successfully exporting avocados between October and May.

In addition, Moroccan avocado exports are expected to reach their record level during the 2022-2023 marketing year and their volumes could exceed 50,000 tonnes for the first time.

greenhouse vegetables

The history of agricultural crops in protected environments in Morocco dates back to the 1970s, but the boom in the construction of greenhouses occurred in the 2000s.

In 2018, greenhouse areas in Morocco were the largest in Africa, and the country was also one of the world leaders in this regard. Experts have estimated the total areas under greenhouses in Morocco at 20,000 ha. However, five years later, only one Moroccan region, Sous-Massa, had 21,000 ha of greenhouse production.

This has in fact allowed Morocco to enter the list of world leaders in the export of several greenhouse vegetables, to become, in 2022, the third largest exporter of tomatoes in the world and the sixth largest exporter of peppers.

In 2021, tomato exports generated $770 million in revenue, more than double the export of mandarin oranges, the second-highest product on the list. Morocco managed to increase its tomato export volumes by 40% to reach 740,000 tons, and pepper exports increased by 20% to 170,000 tons between 2018 and 2022. As for Moroccan cucumber exports, these are not yet so high, but have exceeded 20,000 tons.

Exports of cultivated blueberries

In 2022, Moroccan blueberry exports reached 53,000 tons, only three countries in the world exporting more, notably Peru with 277,000 tons, Chile with 105,000 tons and Spain with 87,000 tons, but exceeded those of the United States. United which exported only 45,000 tons of cultivated blueberries, and Canada were only 19,000 tons.

It should be remembered that Morocco was the 7th largest exporter of cultivated blueberries in 2017, exporting 15,600 tons, but thanks to the gradual diversification of exports to countries other than Spain, it managed to triple its sales. over the past five years.

Exports of fresh raspberries

In 2017, Moroccan exports of fresh raspberries were less than 15,000 tons and Morocco was the sixth largest exporter of fresh raspberries in the world. However, in 2018-2022, Morocco showed stunning export growth rates in the fresh raspberry segment. Exports were increasing on average by a third year on year, and in 2022 they reached 56,000 tons, four times more than in 2017.

It should be noted that Spanish exports of fresh raspberries were three times higher than those of Morocco in 2017. Five years later, Spain exported only 28% more fresh raspberries than Morocco.

Frozen raspberries

Although Morocco was only the eighth largest exporter of frozen raspberries in the world in 2022, it has become one of the main reasons for the collapse of the world price of fresh raspberries at the start of 2023.

The real shock came in January 2023, when the price fell from $5 per kilogram to $2.50-2.60/kg due to active shipments of frozen raspberries from Morocco. Moreover, the Kingdom managed to export 17,000 tons of these frozen berries in 2022, with the EU as the main destination, while non-European countries accounted for only 2% of total exports.

Sweet potato exports are on the rise

The history of sweet potato production in Morocco began much later, and their business opportunities opened up to Moroccan farmers only a few years ago.

In 2018, Moroccan exporters only shipped 23 tonnes of sweet potatoes. In 2022, these exports have multiplied by 50 in five years to reach a total of 1,200 tonnes. Moreover, the year 2022 was the first in history that Morocco exported sweet potatoes without interruption, every month in a row, with the Netherlands, Portugal and the United Kingdom as recipients. Moreover, the Kingdom has succeeded in prolonging its export peak for a long period, whereas previously this peak only concerned the months of June and July.

Apple production dedicated to the domestic market

Although Morocco was the second largest African apple producer after South Africa in 2022, farmers export little of this vegetable and keep it mainly for the domestic market.

You should know that it is thanks to the Morocco Vers Plan that the sector has attracted massive investment and that Moroccan apple production has increased by 83% in 2012-2021, reaching nearly 900,000 tons.

In addition, Morocco mainly imports apples from European countries, such as Italy, Spain, Portugal, Poland, France, among others, while small exports focus on Sahelian countries (Mauritania, Mali , Burkina Faso, Niger, etc.) and do not exceed 1,000 tonnes. annually.

Watermelon exports

In 2022, Morocco was the fourth largest exporter of watermelons in the world and the largest supplier to the EU, one of the most premium markets in the world. It exported 16,000 tons of watermelons to the UK, 4,800 tons to other African countries, 1,400 tons to Switzerland and 790 tons to Gulf countries. The furthest and rather exotic destination for Moroccan watermelons was Australia, which imported 70 tons in the same year.

Dates and raisins imported despite high production

Morocco is one of the few African countries to successfully cultivate grapes for fresh consumption, as well as the production of wines and other products, including raisins, and is one of the largest producers of dates in Africa.

However, it imports 80,000 to 110,000 tons of dates per year and its per capita consumption of dates is about 7 times higher than the world average, while import volumes have increased from 560 tons in 2017 to 13,000 tons in 2022.

Morocco, 5th largest exporter of mandarins

In 2022, Morocco was the fifth largest exporter of mandarins in the world, with only Spain, Turkey, China and South Africa exporting more. Moroccan exports totaled 495,000 tonnes in 2022, and Morocco was only missing 25,000 tonnes of exports to beat South Africa.

As for the destination, the EU represents only 21% of total exports, while the shares of sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East rose by 10% and 4% respectively in 2022, Bangladesh imported 1,500 tonnes , India 1,200 tonnes and Kazakhstan 360 tonnes.

And such a list could be long, but we hope we have given enough interesting and unexpected facts about the fruit and vegetable sector in Morocco, a wonderful country with amazing people and a rapidly developing fruit and vegetable sector, which has in indeed a lot to be proud of and a lot to show as an example“, concludes EastFruit.


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