MOROCCO – Moroccan exports of Brussels sprouts to the UK have skyrocketed, thanks to the “Brexit” effect that has compelled Britain to explore alternative sources for imports.

In 2023, Morocco exported 1.6 million tons of Brussels sprouts to the UK, generating export revenue of USD 2.2 million.

Morocco has gone from supplying none to 56% of Britain’s total Brussels sprout imports in only five years, despite the overall negative trend.

In 2019, Moroccan producers began exporting these vegetables, but the volumes were minimal, and this trend continued into the following year.

However, everything changed dramatically after Brexit, when the UK had to search for alternative import routes that no longer enjoyed the benefits of the EU internal market.

Since then, imports of Moroccan vegetables into the country have been increasing, and the volume of supplies has set a new record every year.

In just three years, the amount of Brussels sprouts imported to Britain from Morocco increased by tenfold.

However, Morocco’s share is expected to decrease by the end of the year as the export season has already concluded, while the Netherlands and Spain are still in the midst of theirs. Consequently, the Netherlands is likely to surpass Morocco in terms of supply.

Morocco was ranked fifth in the world for Brussels sprout exports in 2022, according to East Fruit’s statistics.

This year’s export volumes plummeted by 42% compared to the previous year, while revenues remained relatively stable at USD 7.6 million.

This is because the majority of the supply went to Mauritania last year, and the price per ton of items shipped to African nations is often substantially lower than it is to Europe.

The Netherlands actively imports and then immediately exports this crop of Moroccan origin. It is the main customer for Moroccan Brussels sprouts, as this Moroccan product was then quickly exported to eight international markets in 2023.

In another development, the high yield of Brussels sprouts in Mexico in 2023 has led to reduced prices for the commodity in the country.

“Then, it was a tight market. Now it seems to be plentiful and there’s plenty of availability of conventional Brussels sprouts. Organic Brussels are a little bit tighter,” says Alejandro Madrigal of Covilli Brand Organics Inc.

According to Madrigal, the increase in production can be attributed to farmers expanding their programs and new growers entering the marketplace.

The increase, however, is good news as it meets the demand. “Supply is barely meeting demand – some weeks, demand exceeds supply. As a whole, it’s as even as I’ve ever seen it,” concludes Madrigal.

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