Moroccan citrus exports forecast to grow exponentially
Moroccan citrus exports are expected to experience exponential growth in the 2020/21 marketing year, according to a USDA report.
Exports for soft fruits, oranges, and lemons/limes are all predicted to increase. However, the most prominent changes will be seen in the export of oranges and soft fruits.
Tangerine/mandarin (soft fruits) exports should total about 500,000 metric tons (MT) while orange exports should reach around 150,000MT. These amounts equal increases of 26 percent and 38 percent respectively.
The uptick in exports is anticipated as a result of increased supply. Projections for citrus production overall predict an increase of 32 percent from last year, reaching 2.3 million metric tons due to increased area planted, new plantings coming into full production, and new irrigation balancing the effects of drought from 2020.
Russia and the EU will likely remain the two top destinations for Moroccan citrus exports, accounting for over 66 percent of imports.
While lemon/lime exports are also predicted to see some growth in 2020/21, it is not likely to be by a significant amount. Estimates place exports for these fruits as reaching 18,000MT.
In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, the citrus industry and the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture have reportedly taken measures to maintain both safety precautions and stable operations.
A Covid-19 response committee has been set up by the industry while new sanitation and social distancing measures have been deployed in agricultural production units so that regular production and export operations can continue.
Additionally, the Moroccan government will continue to provide incentive measures, implemented to give support to citrus growers, and encourage new investment in citrus production.