Morocco’s citrus production is experiencing a setback leading to a MAD 2 billion export loss for Morocco.
Rabat – The Technical Committee of the Association of Citrus Producers (Regional ASPAM of Souss Massa) has said that Citrus fruit production has significantly declined, impacting negatively on the 2018-2019 citrus exports campaign.
ASPAM made the remarks at a meeting examining the situation of citrus fruits’ exports as of November 23, 2019.
The 2018-2019 season was characterized by a 50% drop in citrus production on average, and a drop of 75% in regions such as Souss Massa. Field professionals are estimating an export loss of MAD 2 billion.
Professionals explained that the decline is mainly due to high temperatures during the month of August.
The ASPAM pointed out that the significant decline will also impact the export of small citrus fruits, as seen at the beginning of the season for different varieties of mandarins and clementines.
In Souss Massa region, where 30% of the region is reserved for growing citrus fruits, professionals projected that the volume of exports of clementines will not exceed 42,000 tons compared to 187,000 tons in the 2017-2018 campaign.
As of November 23, 2019, Morocco exported only 8000 tonnes out of the planned 42,000. The Russian market received 50% of the exports while the North American countries received 30% and only 12% went to the European Union markets.
By type, the ASPAM Souss estimates that total exports of the Nour clementine will not exceed 10,000 tons in 2019 compared to 90,000 tons in 2018. Meanwhile, professionals are expecting a slight decline of the Nadorcott clementine exports, with a total of around 35,000 tonnes.
To limit the damage, many producers have decided to give up on exports during the 2018-2019 campaign and focus instead on the domestic market.
While Morocco’s main citrus-producing regions are experiencing a serious drop in production, the Berkane region remains less affected.
In addition to Souss Massa, Morocco’s main citrus growing regions include the Gharb regions where 19% of the total area is reserved for growing citrus fruits, the Oriental with 15%, and the Tadla and Haouz regions with 13% each.