MOROCCO – Morocco is gearing up to take decisive action against what it perceives as unfair trade practices, particularly concerning canned tomatoes imported from Egypt.

With nearly 40% of its canned tomato consumption reliant on imports, Morocco has been closely monitoring its trade relations, especially with Egypt, its primary canned tomato supplier.

In response to concerns raised by the National Agri-Food Federation (FENAGRI), the Ministry of Industry and Commerce in Morocco has initiated investigations into the matter.

These investigations, launched on August 7, have led to serious deliberations, with the possibility of imposing provisional anti-dumping duties of 29.93% on canned tomatoes imported from Egypt.

The decision to consider anti-dumping duties comes after meticulous scrutiny by the ministry, which revealed adverse effects on local industries.

According to findings, imports of canned tomatoes from Egypt have not only impacted the pricing levels of similar products in Morocco but have also affected sales quantities, market shares, and local industry profits.

The determination of dumping margins, expressed as a percentage of export prices, was a crucial aspect of the investigation. The ministry utilized various data sources, including ex-factory prices from Egyptian supermarkets and import prices from Moroccan sales data, to assess the situation accurately.

Egypt holds a significant position as Morocco’s primary supplier of canned tomatoes, contributing to approximately 70% of shipments. In 2022 alone, Egypt exported over 10,700 tonnes of canned tomatoes to Morocco, highlighting the substantial reliance on Egyptian imports.

Meanwhile, the trade dynamics between Morocco and Spain also underscore the significance of this issue. In 2023, companies in Almeria imported a staggering €18.83 million worth of Moroccan tomatoes, setting a new record.

This surge in imports, indicated by the use of the Integrated Tariff of the European Communities – TARIC code 0702, reflects the growing trade relations between the two countries.

The report further reveals the substantial increase in Moroccan tomato imports across Spanish provinces, with Almeria, Murcia, and Granada leading the way. Notably, Almeria experienced a 156.1% surge in imports compared to 2019, with an average price of €1.48 per kilo.

Similarly, Murcia and Granada witnessed significant growth in imports, reflecting the overall trend of increasing trade volumes between Spain and Morocco. These statistics highlight the evolving trade landscape and the need for proactive measures to safeguard domestic industries.

As Spain continues to import substantial quantities of tomatoes from Morocco, amounting to 57.92 million kilos in 2023, it underscores the importance of fair trade practices and regulatory measures to maintain equilibrium in global trade dynamics.

Morocco’s decision to impose anti-dumping duties serves as a pivotal step in addressing concerns related to unfair trade practices and ensuring a level playing field for all stakeholders involved.

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