Are Morocco’s Tea imports from China under threat ?
Rabat – The novel Coronavirus outbreak has severely impacted exports from and to China, including green tea.
Tea is the national drink in Morocco and represents one of the country’s biggest imports from China.
The president of The Moroccan association of tea and coffee manufacturers (AMITC), Mohamed Astaib announced that Morocco has imported a stock of tea that is sufficient for the next six months as a preventive measure.
“We are studying the possibility of dealing with alternative tea exporters such as India and Sri Lanka,” Astaib added.
With Moroccans consuming over 70,000 tons of tea per year, the population may be concerned about the dwindling reserve of tea.
Atsaib reassured Moroccans, saying: “Tea is available in markets and there will be no shortage. I reassure Moroccans that the tea price will not increase”
In 2018, Morocco was the 9th largest importer of tea in the world.
n the face of the spreading virus, Morocco has taken several measures to protect citizens, including the cancellation of the annual agricultural Exhibition (SIAM)
SIAM is Morocco’s most important annual agricultural fair. Last year more than 850,000 visitors and 1,365 exhibitors from 60 countries attended the event.
The cancellation of the Moroccan fair is the first of its kind in Morocco since the start of the Coronavirus outbreak.
According to AMITC, Morocco’s tea imports represent 25% of China’s worldwide tea exports.
In China, the novel Coronavirus has so far infected more than 80,000 and killed 2,945.
Meanwhile, the Moroccan economy may profit from the decline in agricultural exports from China.
The head of Russia’s Food Products Manufacturers and Suppliers, Dmitry Vostrikov, spoke on February 6 about the possibility of replacing Chinese produce in Russia by importing from Morocco.
“Vegetables, fruits and seafood make up the basis of Chinese food exports to Russia […] At the moment, the falling volumes can easily be replaced by supplies from other countries, such as Morocco and Turkey,” Vostrikov told a local Russian news agency.