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Morocco’s greenhouse tomato exports surge again in 2024

In a remarkable turnaround from the challenges faced last autumn, Morocco has successfully resumed its greenhouse tomato exports this year. According to EastFruit, the first quarter of 2024 has seen Moroccan tomato exports reach new heights.

From January to March, Morocco shipped out 266,000 tons of greenhouse tomatoes, marking a 10% increase over the same period in 2023 and surpassing the five-year average by 9%. This robust performance positions Moroccan exporters to conclude the 2023/24 export season on a strong note, despite its tumultuous start.

The year 2024 brought severe drought and record-breaking summer temperatures, with the Souss-Massa region – a key agricultural hub – recording a staggering high of +50.4 in August. The spread of the ToBRFV virus in greenhouses compounded the challenges, leading to significant crop losses.

 

The repercussions were felt in the latter part of the year, as tomato exports plummeted to unprecedented lows. Consequently, the annual export volume for 2023 did not see the usual growth, instead experiencing a decline from the previous year.

Overall, Morocco’s 2023 exports totaled nearly 660,000 tons of greenhouse tomatoes, primarily destined for the European Union market. France accounted for half of these exports, with the United Kingdom taking in about 18%, and the Netherlands and Spain importing 9% and 6%, respectively. Outside of Europe, Mauritania emerged as a notable customer, representing 4% of the total exports.

 

However, the export landscape in early 2024 shifted slightly due to Mauritania’s increased import duties on Moroccan fruits and vegetables, which led to border delays, reduced trade, and heightened concerns over potential food shortages in the Sahel region.

 

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