As Europe is experiencing low temperatures this April, continental farmers have had a rough start to the year. This gives Moroccan fruit and vegetable producers and exporters a great head start in the coming seasons.
For instance: Spain experienced the worst snowstorm to hit the Iberian peninsula in 50 years in January. In March, frost caused major damage to crops, worth approximately €55 million. The first round of disasters in Spain saw serious salad shortages in UK supermarkets, while the March frosts mostly affected fruit trees, such as peach, pear, apple, or apricot, as well as almond and wine grape crops.
France has considered declaring an “agricultural disaster,” as early spring frost-damaged crops and vines across the country in early April. In Italy, a harsh drop in temperatures between April 8 and 9 damaged stone fruit, kiwifruits, and vegetables.
As other European countries also experienced frosts, some observers speculate that the diminishing supply and surplus demand for fresh produce will lead to increased prices as well as the prevalence of imports from beyond the EU’s borders.
Meanwhile, on the southern coast of the Mediterranean basin, Moroccan farmers can count on another profitable year. In 2020, Morocco’s exports to the EU saw an increase of 9%, reaching total exports of more than 1.5 million tons, of which nearly half was Moroccan fruit.
In 2020, Morocco exported 434.87 million kilograms of tomatoes to the EU, 214.17 million kilograms of watermelons, 120.49 million kilograms of peppers, and 74.86 million kilograms of oranges, representing a value of €843.44 million (MAD 9.1 billion).
Moroccoworldnews.com reports that while most of the losses in Europe do not coincide with Morocco’s biggest exports, it could be a good chance for Moroccan producers and exporters to carve out a bigger slice of pie for themselves in the EU markets.
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