At a time when the global frozen raspberry market is in a state of shock from the rapid fall in prices, as EastFruit analysts recently wrote in the article “Frozen raspberry market in the EU – when will the free fall in prices stop?”, Morocco continues to increase its presence in this market. It seems that difficult times for the global leader in the frozen raspberry market, Serbia, will come soon.
In particular, the exports of frozen raspberries from Morocco in 2022 doubled in physical terms and reached a record 16 700 tonnes. At the same time, just two years ago, they did not exceed 3 600 tonnes. That is, in two years, Moroccan producers of frozen fruits and vegetables increased exports by 4.6 times, or by 13 000 tonnes. In value terms, the exports of frozen raspberries from Morocco increased 2.7 times over the year and reached $60 million.
Thus, Morocco, which was not a major player in the frozen raspberry market a couple of years ago, is rapidly approaching Ukraine, which is the third after Serbia and Poland, in terms of the volume of raspberry exports. By the way, Ukraine also updated the record for frozen raspberry exports in 2022 despite Russia’s military aggression.
“Morocco is a unique example of a development model for the export of berries. Initially, taking advantage of the climate, it focused on the exports of high-value-added products. Let me remind you that in the fruit and vegetable business, added value is achieved by selling fresh high-quality products, and not by processing them – as a rule, much cheaper products are sent for processing. However, with the expansion of the production of fresh raspberries and other berries for export mainly to the EU countries, an opportunity arose for the development of freezing of berries, which was realized. Now both segments are developing dynamically and quite harmoniously, complementing each other,” says Andriy Yarmak, economist at the Investment Center of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).
The exports of fresh raspberries and blackberries from Morocco in 2022 also updated the records of the previous year and reached 56 200 tonnes, having increased 36% over the year. The most interesting thing is that the revenue from the exports of fresh raspberries exceeds the revenue from frozen berries by 65 times and reaches $307 million. Thus, Moroccan producers earn an impressive $367 million per year from the export of raspberries and blackberries. By the way, the exports of fresh raspberries bring in more money to Morocco than the export of any other fruit. For comparison, Ukraine does not export fresh raspberries, although it is located right on the border with the European Union, focusing exclusively on the low-margin segment of frozen berries.
The main volumes of both fresh and frozen Moroccan-produced raspberries are supplied to the markets of the EU countries, primarily to Germany. However, in 2022, the geography of exports of frozen berries from Morocco has expanded dramatically. The list of importing countries includes very unexpected countries some of which Ukrainian exporters should pay attention to. It should be noted that for the first time, frozen raspberries from Morocco were exported in large volumes in 2022 to the United Arab Emirates, Brazil, Tunisia, South Africa, Croatia, Canada, Qatar, Bahrain, and Saudi Arabia.
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