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Moroccan asparagus exports: growing volumes and expanding geography

Morocco has been increasing its asparagus exports over the past five years, and their volumes have more than doubled, as reported by EastFruit. For three marketing years in a row, Morocco was shipping asparagus only to Spain. However, since the MY 2021/22, Moroccan exporters have expanded their sales geography, and now the list of importing countries is widened.

It is worth noting that asparagus is not one of the most important export categories for Morocco, such as tomatoes or bell peppers. Globally, Morocco ranks just 19th among the biggest exporters. However, asparagus is a specialty crop for this North African country, which supports its export development. In the MY 2022/23, Moroccan exporters sold about 500 tonnes of asparagus valued at more than $1 mln.

Read also: Seed potato imports reach at least five-year high in Morocco

There are three European countries (Germany, Spain, and the Netherlands) that enter the group of top five biggest importers of asparagus in the world. Morocco focuses mostly on Spain, with its share standing at about three quarters in the MY 2022/23.

Simultaneously, Spain is one of the biggest exporters of asparagus globally and ranks fourth. The leaders are Mexico, Peru and the USA; therefore, Spain is considered the biggest exporter of asparagus in Europe.
As a rule, European asparagus is exported in April, while exports in January-March are low. Thus, the period between January and April is the best for Moroccan exports.

It is interesting that Moroccan growers produce asparagus in tandem with blueberries, which are exported mostly in February-April. This enables them to extend their season, and such an approach is widely spread also in Spain, Chile, Peru and some other countries. As EastFruit has previously reported, asparagus and blueberries have much in common in marketing and logistics. In addition, such a combination gives an opportunity to extend the season, optimize use of labor force, machinery, equipment etc.

Exports of Moroccan asparagus to Spain started growing in the MY 2020/21, when, due to the COVID-19 lockdowns, logistics became difficult, and traders needed alternative suppliers. Then, as like in the two previous seasons, Spain was the only importer of asparagus from Morocco. Nevertheless, just a year after that, Moroccan exporters managed to add Germany to their list of buyers, and Germany accounted for about 15% of total exports. As regards the current season, the export geography expanded even more, with Spain, Germany, the UK, and the Netherlands in the list.

EastFruit

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