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Morocco is a successful example of diversification of fresh strawberry exports

Exports of fresh strawberries from Morocco in 2022 set a historical record, and the country kept diversifying supplies, EastFruit informs.

Fresh strawberries in Morocco, although their export volume is lower than that of frozen strawberries or of fresh raspberries and blueberries, are still one of the key commodities of the country’s fruit and vegetable exports. Fresh strawberries are included in the TOP-10 most exported vegetables and fruits from Morocco and bring the country from $40 to 70 million in revenue almost every year.

22 400 tonnes of fresh strawberries were exported from the country in 2022, which is, 17% more than in 2021 and almost 1 000 tonnes more than the previous record in 2019.

Since 2017, Morocco has annually increased its exports of fresh strawberries by an average of 3%, which in general cannot be attributed to serious growth rates. For comparison, over the same period, the country annually increased blueberry exports by 28%. There are two points in the development trends of fresh strawberry exports from Morocco EastFruit advises exporters from the project countries to pay attention to.

First, back in 2017, over three-quarters of Moroccan fresh strawberries were exported only to Spain, and five years later, its share had dropped to just over 20%. Secondly, the share of buyers from the Middle East in the structure of Moroccan exports during this period increased from less than 0.5 to 8%.

Read also: Morocco is catching up with Ukraine in the exports of frozen raspberries, doubling supplies in 2022

Spain is one of the key investors in Moroccan agribusiness, and strawberry cultivation projects in Morocco were originally focused on deliveries to this country. This allowed Spanish exporters to extend their export season because the peak of supplies of fresh strawberries in Spain is in March-April, and in Morocco – in January-February. At the same time, Moroccan exporters, trading through Spain, lost a large part of the revenue they would have received from direct exports. By the way, Ukraine did not receive a significant part of its export earnings from the supply of blueberries in 2022 for similar reasons, since more than half of its exports were carried out through Poland.

As a result, volumes previously supplied from Morocco through Spain began to be exported directly, and the United Kingdom became the leader in the import of fresh Moroccan strawberries. In 2022, the United Kingdom imported almost half of the Moroccan strawberry exports. It should be noted that Brexit which once greatly complicated the deliveries to the British market from the EU countries contributed to the emergence of the UK as a leader in strawberry imports.

Another important trend in the development of Moroccan exports has been a sharp increase in supplies to the Middle East over the past few years. In 2017, only 56 tonnes of fresh strawberries were exported from Morocco to this region, and in 2022, it exported 30 times more (1 700 tonnes)! The key buyers of were the UAE and Qatar (900 and 630 tonnes, respectively), while smaller volumes were also supplied to Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Oman, and Kuwait.

EastFruit

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