MOROCCO – Morocco has witnessed a remarkable surge in melon exports, showcasing resilience and strategic adaptation to market demands despite facing a severe drought and grappling with water scarcity issues.

New data from EastFruit reveals a noteworthy 25% increase in melon exports last year compared to 2022, with nearly 57,000 tons exported from January to November.

“This result also surpassed the five-year average by 5% and ranked among the highest levels in the past years,” noted the report, emphasizing the impressive growth in the face of challenging circumstances.

France emerged as the leading market for Moroccan melon exports, claiming nearly two-thirds of the country’s total exports, closely followed by Spain.

However, the success of this export surge raises concerns, considering melons are water-intensive crops requiring consistent irrigation, and Morocco is currently grappling with its worst dry season and drought in four decades.

The Moroccan government has implemented measures, including water rationalization campaigns and the temporary shutdown of certain services like hammams and car washing for three days a week, to address the water crisis.

Despite these challenges, Morocco’s recent weather, including some rainfall, has provided slight relief to the situation.

The Ministry of Equipment reported a marginal increase in Morocco’s dam filling rate, contributing to a slight rise of 269 million cubic meters.

However, the filling percentage remains comparatively low, currently standing at 22.9%, whereas during the same period last year, it was at 31.9%. The rising temperatures in Moroccan provinces may further impact the filling rate.

In a surprising turn, Morocco has not only weathered its water-related challenges but has also emerged as a key player in the global melon market.

Spain, a significant melon market player, faced adverse weather conditions in 2023, creating a surge in summer demand.

Morocco seized this opportunity, becoming the primary supplier of a record volume of melons, accounting for over half of the year’s deliveries.

Traditionally, Spanish imports of Moroccan melons concentrated in the spring expanded to the summer due to challenging weather conditions in Spain. Morocco flexibly adapted to market dynamics, surpassing traditional suppliers like Brazil and Senegal.

In July alone, over 8,000 tons of Moroccan melons were shipped to Spain, marking Morocco’s rise to the third position among melon suppliers to Spain, overtaking the Netherlands.

This exceptional performance aligns with a broader trend, positioning Morocco 12th among the world’s melon exporters.

By 2023, with nearly 57,000 tons shipped to 40 countries, export revenues exceeded an impressive $61 million, reinforcing Moroccan producers’ global competitiveness in the agricultural sector.

This conquest of the Spanish market underscores Morocco’s ability to offer quality and diversified agricultural products, further strengthening its position on the world stage.

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