Morocco Mandarin and Orange Update

Josh McGillInternational, Mandarins

Morocco’s production and export of mandarins and oranges are detailed in a recent U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA/FAS) report on Morocco fruit exports.

Photo by Maria Mileta

Mandarin production in Morocco doubled during the last 10 years, to 1.4 million tons in 2021–22. Production is concentrated in the Souss-Massa, Gharb and Oriental regions.

Area harvested expanded nearly 50% but has been relatively flat the past five years, with 2021 area harvested at 58,900 hectares.

Of the total tangerines/mandarins produced, more than 40% were exported. The mandarin industry has grown in direct response to domestic as well as overseas demand from the European Union (EU) and Russia.

Export values have eased from a peak of $394 million in 2019, but are hovering around $350 million, well above previous levels. Export quantities peaked in 2018 at 553,000 tons but have fallen to 465,000 tons in 2019 and 497,000 tons in 2021 due to lower production. The lower production was the result of unfavorably high temperatures during the bloom and fruit set.

Exports occur mostly between October and April. The top destination for mandarin exports during the last six years by value is the EU, accounting for 34%. Russia was the second-largest market at 31%, with Canada coming in a distant third at 13%, followed by the United Kingdom and the United States.

The terms mandarin and tangerine are often used interchangeably, which can be confusing because although a tangerine is a type of mandarin, not all mandarins are tangerines.

Orange production in Morocco is estimated at a record 1.2 million tons in 2021–22, up 11% from the year before and up by one-third during the past 10 years. Production is concentrated in the Gharb and Souss-Massa regions. Unlike area harvested for mandarins, which has been flat in recent years, orange area harvested grew by a quarter during the past 10 years to 56,500 hectares in 2021. Consumption has averaged around 80% of available supply.

Of the total oranges produced, 10% are exported.Orange exports occur between December and August. The orange industry has grown in direct response to domestic as well as overseas demand from Canada, the EU and Russia. Exports averaged $82 million (144,000 tons) from 2017 to 2020 but dropped to $59 million (95,000 tons) in 2021. However, exports are forecast to grow with rising production due to favorable weather and increased area as new orchards begin producing.

The top destination for orange exports is the EU, accounting for more than half of exports, with Canada second at 18% and Russia third with 13%. The UK, the United States and Senegal are the next largest markets, accounting for an additional 10% of the exports.

See the USDA/FAS report on Morocco fruit exports here.

Source: USDA/FAS

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