Saturday, December 24, 2011

Moroccan Clementine Production up 6% - Export Season Begins

Here is an article from on the beginning of the citrus export season in Morocco. We already have some in our grocery store here in the US.
Citrus production Morocco increases by 6%

The export season in Morocco has started. The season, which runs from November till the end of June, holds good promise. Sufficient rain fell during the last year (the citrus production is 70% dependent on water from reservoirs and 30% of sub-soil wate and the quantity of the production has increased by 1200 HA new plantings. According to the ministry of Agriculture the citrus production this year increases by 6% compared to the previous season, a quantity of 1,86 million tons.

The production of oranges is estimated at 975,000 tons, which is 52.3% of the total citrus production. It is expected that 496,000 tons of the variety Moroc Late (44%) and 375,000 tons (35.5%) of the Navel will be produced. The small citrus is also important in the total with a quantity of 764,000 tons, of which 509,000 tons are clementines. The new varieties, such as Nour, Nules and Afourer are estimated at 95,000, 84,000 and 43,000 tons respectively. Souss remains the most important region for the production of citrus fruit. This season a total production of 744,000 tons is expected, which is 40% of the country total. The region Souss is followed by El-Gharb with 336,000 tons, Tadla (272,000 tons), Oriental (269,000 tons), Haouz (140,000 tons) and Loukkos (35,000 tons).

According to Aspam the increase in the supply will result in an 8% increase in export. Nevertheless Morocco only exported 110,000 tons (mainly clementines) up to 1 December against 160,000 tons in the same period last year. This delay does not cause anxiety according to Ahmed Derrab, general secretary of Aspam. Also not when the traditional markets as a result of the crisis ascertain a decrease in demand. Various other contacts have strengthened in the meantime, such as those with North America, which now already obtains 12% of the export, just as the contacts with the new markets in Bulgaria, Hungary, Poland and Lithuania. The Moroccan producers look more and more to Asia, especially China, where the citrus is available in the supermarkets in Shanghai.

The general secretary also mentions that on the traditional market itself there is enough to correct "Markets like Great Britain, Germany and the Benelux have been neglected. This is because they are selling areas where Spain causes problems for us and where we could not interfere because of the lack in the growth of production" Ahmed Derrab says. He also points out that there should be more invested in the Russian market, which bought half of the Moroccan export in 2010/2011.

This season the export is expected to be 1.3 million tons, of which 200,000 tons are clementines. The remaining quantity has already been booked by the local market, where the direct consumption by private citizens is very large and profits good because other products such as apples and bananas are very expensive. Nevertheless professionals complain about the taxes levied by the wholesale market without any reason. Also the condition of the logistics is also a reason to complain. To they add there is a bottleneck between the non-structured markets and the increase of the number of agents. "Contrary to what is believed the large distribution in Morocco does not take more than 15,000 tons in total annually" Ahmed says.

Aspam mentions that demand for the current year is present, but that they hope that this will increase, especially the demand for the variety Moroc Late. The big question is what prices will do. The clementine is expected to be somewhere between 0.49 and 0.81/kg and the orange between 0.25 and 0.57/kg. Morocco expects a citrus production of more than 2.9 million tons in 2020.

Publication date: 12/20/2011
Author: Gerard Lindhout

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