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Moroccan tomatoes: average export season expected

Moroccan tomato exports are yet again expected to be below that recorded the previous season. At best, they are expected to reach the same volume as in 2015-2016. A 4% decrease compared to 2015-2016 has been recorded with 517,000 tons of tomatoes of all varieties being exported this year. Most of this figure is exports to the EU, which total almost 403,000 tons.

According to the EU’s statistics, the figure is closer to 374,500 tons, down 1%. The decrease also effected Spanish exports which decreased by 12% since last season. Meanwhile, Turkey has developed their tomato exports by 70% to 100,000 tons, thanks to the Russian embargo on European sales. Overall, fruit/vegetable exports increased by 6%. This is mainly thanks to a 48% increase in watermelon sales (137,000 tons compared to 74,000 tons in 2015-2016). 

The APEFL (Association of fruit and vegetable producers and exporters) do not expect to see an improvement in export in the season that has just begun, mainly due to the very hot weather conditions over the summer in 2017 in the Agadir region that monopolised most export volumes. Nurseries were also effected by the heat and saw a loss of seedlings, leading to producer deliveries being a week late. The high temperatures also led to bad fruit setting and dis-coloration. 

Overall, 5,200 hectares of tomatoes were sown with a provisional target to reach 800,000 tons. Export will depend on weather conditions, notably how cold the winter is and how disease and pests are controlled (white fly in particular) and the situation of the EU market which imports almost half of exported volume. 

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