The climatic conditions in Morocco over the last few months have caused problems in the fruit and vegetable industry. Not only has this had a negative impact on exports, but it has caused a rise in prices on the domestic markets around Morocco
According to the informative Fresh Plaza website citrus production decreased in all Mediterranean countries last season, but in Morocco the decrease in production was worsened by quality problems, caused by a strong variation between warm and cold periods. During the sorting, 30 to 40% of the production had to be declined.
The total citrus production was 1.5 million tonnes, against 1.86 million tonnes in 2011-2012. The production of small citrus, which represents over 80% of the citrus production, was 660,000 tonnes. Of this, 300,000 tonnes were exported. The clementine variety makes up 90% of the small citrus, of which export has decreased by 2%. Over 140,000 tonnes of oranges have been exported. This is 17% of the total citrus production. The export of oranges has decreased by 57%.
The results of the decrease in sales are mainly having an effect in the Souss region, the most important export region for the clementine. The decrease in sales was -33%. The Oriental region, on the other hand, which has not suffered from bad weather conditions, has seen its export of small citrus increase from 23,400 to 43,200 tonnes.
The sales on the home market are going well. The sales price for the clementine is 0.27 €/kg on average and 0.14 to 0.18 €/kg for oranges.
The strawberry growers have also experienced major problems - again because of the weather
Strawberry season in Morocco starting late with the early varieties Festival, Camarosa and Splendor. The three together represent 80% of the total strawberry crop, which compared to 2012 has increased by 5% (140 to 150ha).
The season started at the middle to the end of November 2012, but the development was up to now - and especially in January - delayed by cold nights, rain and storms. The export of Moroccan strawberries was 50% less than last year up to 14 days ago, -22% compared to the three-year average with a cumulated average of -15% since the start of the season.
However, for 5 weeks the volumes have increased and the season is now in full swing. The total export will not be more than 18,000 tons (against 22,500 tons last year) because of time loss and a decrease in yields as a result of the bad weather conditions.
Tomato growers have also been hit. 212.483 tons have been sent abroad against the 230.934 tons registered in 2012; as for citruses, 268.618 tons (338.693 tons in 2012) have been exported, along with 322.127 tons of first fruits (341.432 tons in 2012).
Finally, a slight increase for Moroccan organic fruit and vegetables: 2.847 tons have been delivered to Europe, against the 2.585 tons reported in 2012.