As the harvest is nearly completed, Morocco’s citrus production will see an expected increase to 2.6 million metric tons in 2018-2019.
Rabat – Morocco’s citrus production for the marketing year 2018-2019 will reach an expected 2.6 million metric tons, up 18 percent compared to last marketing year, the US Department of Agriculture said in a report published on December 7.
Compared to the last marketing year, the report forecasts an increase in Moroccan citrus products, including tangerine and mandarin with 1.2 million metric tons (up 14 percent), orange with 1.2 million metric tons, (up 18 percent), and lemon with 45,000 metric tons.
The increase in production, according to the report, is “due to the favorable weather conditions and increases in the area harvested as younger trees begin to bear fruit.”
Based on the forecast, Morocco will export 585,000 metric tons of tangerine and mandarin during the 2018-2019 marketing year, up 9 percent compared to the previous marketing year. Meanwhile, the country’s exports of orange will reach 190,000 metric tons, up 42 percent.
Russia and the EU are Morocco’s primary citrus export destinations. In 2017-2018, the North African country’s exports of mandarin and tangerine totaled 205,091 metric tons to Russia and 166,299 metric tons to the EU.
Morocco’s exports of tangerine and mandarin to the US increased by 30 percent over the last five marketing years, making it the North African country’s fourth mandarin importer with 55,561 metric tons, after Canada (67,800 metric tons).
The increase is due to the market access that the US regained in Morocco’s Berkane region.
US leading importer and distributor of fresh fruits LGS Specialty Sales announced in last month the company is expecting a large crop of Moroccan citrus “thanks to a strong growing season.”
The company said that Berkane is a fertile area which “was selected specifically for its climate and rootstock, both of which are especially conducive to producing superior citrus.”
The USDA report also showed forecast figures about Morocco’s citrus domestic consumption which will see some increase in the 2018-2019 marketing year.
Moroccans will consume an expected total of 765,000 metric tons of tangerine and mandarin, up 8 percent over 2017/2018; and 950,000 metric tons of fresh orange (up 14 percent).
According to the report, “many [Moroccan] farmers had to dump their products in local markets, causing prices to drop to their lowest levels.”