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Moroccan fresh berries: a growing success story in the Middle East

Morocco has been expanding its fresh berry exports to the Middle East, one of its key markets, at a remarkable pace. EastFruit reports that Moroccan exporters have boosted their shipments of fresh berries to the Persian Gulf countries by eightfold since the MY 2018/19 (July-June), and they have already surpassed the previous year’s figures in the first months of the current season!

Morocco has been growing its fresh berry exports to the Middle East by an average of 64% annually over the past few seasons. This region is crucial for the development of Moroccan berry exports, which have traditionally depended on consumers in the EU and the UK.

In the first four months of the MY 2023/24, Morocco has set a new record by delivering 127 tons of berries to the Persian Gulf market. However, the main supply period is yet to come, as the shipments usually increase in November, peak between January and March, and taper off by May.

Read also: How Moroccan raspberries overcome French consumers’ patriotism and conquers France’s market

Of the 8 thousand tons of Moroccan exports in this direction in the 2022/23 season, fresh blueberries accounted for more than 40%. In the same season, blueberries became the most exported berry from Morocco to the Middle East for the first time, and their shipments have grown by more than 30 times since the MY 2018/19. During the same period, the exports of strawberries rose almost fivefold, and the supplies of fresh raspberries – more than fourfold. The export of other berries (mainly blackberries) is still very low, and it did not exceed 130 tons in the MY 2022/23.

Since the MY 2020/21, the United Arab Emirates has been the main destination for Moroccan berries in the Middle East, receiving more than half of the export volumes by the end of the last MY 2022/23. Other important markets are Qatar and Saudi Arabia, and the export from Morocco to the latter has soared by more than 60 times since the MY 2018/19! Smaller quantities of Moroccan berries were also shipped to Kuwait, Bahrain, Jordan, and Oman.

It is worth noting that Saudi Arabia and the UAE are the biggest importers of berries in the Middle East, while the other countries in the region have much lower import levels. Morocco faces competition from the Netherlands, the USA, and the Southern Hemisphere countries (South Africa, Peru, Chile) in the blueberry segment in the Persian Gulf countries. In the strawberry market, Egypt and the EU countries are also competitors, and in the raspberry segment – Mexico.

EastFruit

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