MOROCCO- Morocco is poised to shatter records in the 2023 import of dried fruits and nuts, marking an unprecedented surge in the horticultural sector.

According to the report by EastFruit, between January and October 2023, a staggering 66 thousand tons of these commodities have flooded Morocco’s market, marking a 12% increase over the entire preceding year.

Interestingly, while Morocco stands as one of the globe’s fastest-growing exporters of fresh fruits and vegetables, it heavily relies on imported nuts and dried fruits. In 2022, the North African nation purchased nearly 26 times more of these goods than it exported.

The trajectory of this product category witnessed a remarkable upsurge between 2018 and 2021, tripling its volume.

However, challenges like the global economic recession and escalating transportation costs led to a dip in Morocco’s imports of nuts and dried fruits in 2022.

This setback, though brief, saw a robust market rebound by mid-2023. Even as the overall proportion of imports decreased slightly from 91% in 2018 to 88% in 2022, almonds, walnuts, and dried grapes retained their position as the top three imported categories.

The data also reveals an impressive surge in specific varieties. Imports of walnuts and dried grapes doubled on average, while almond purchases escalated nearly tenfold.

The demand for cashew nuts and prunes also witnessed exponential rises, soaring by 12 and 19 times, respectively.

Notably, the US remains the primary supplier of walnuts and almonds to Morocco, dominating the almond market and accounting for nearly the entire import volume. However, in the walnut market, American exporters trail behind China and Chile.

While Morocco’s traditional imports include walnuts and almonds, there’s a growing trend in lesser-known categories such as Brazil nuts, pistachios, hazelnuts, and dried apricots.

Globally, the European Union stands out as the world’s largest market for edible nuts, encompassing over 40% of global imports, as stated by the Centre for the Promotion of Imports from developing countries (CBI).

This steady rise in import volumes presents significant opportunities for exporters from developing countries, especially in major consuming markets like the Netherlands, Germany, France, and the UK.

Morocco’s evolving imports showcase the nation’s growing appetite for a diverse array of nuts and dried fruits, setting new benchmarks while aligning with global market dynamics and emerging trends.

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