Rabat – Morocco has moved to become the third biggest exporter of mandarins globally, according to the Association of Citrus Producers of South Africa (CGA).
The report takes into consideration the annual average of exports between 2015 and 2020 as well as forecast data for 2021 when making its predictions. In this period Morocco exported, on average, over 508,000 tons of mandarins annually, positioning it as one of the biggest exporters of the citrus fruit.
Turkey has overtaken China to become the top exporter of mandarins, with an annual average of 759,000 tons, while the East Asian country averages at 644,000 tons annually. Morocco, as reported, took third place, followed by South Africa with its average annual mandarin export of 294,000 tons. In fifth place stood the European Union, with average annual exports of 98,000 tons of mandarins.
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In terms of production, China has held its place as a top producer, with an average annual harvest of 21.68 million tons of mandarins. The European Union comes second, with an average annual production of 3.10 million tons, Turkey comes third with 1.45 million tons, while Morocco produces an average of 1.17 million tons of the citrus fruit. In fifth place comes the US, producing 875,000 tons annually.
The recent development comes as a relief, following a mandarin shortage in Morocco in 2019. The Technical Committee of the Association of Citrus Producers noted that Citrus fruit production has significantly declined, impacting negatively on the 2018-2019 citrus exports campaign. This lead to a significant decline in exports of the citrus fruits.
Despite a prediction for record-level of mandarin production in the 2018-2019 season, it was actually characterized by a 50% drop in citrus production on average, and a drop of 75% in regions such as Souss-Massa. Field professionals estimated an export loss of MAD 2 billion ($220 million).