Morocco’s tangerine/mandarin and lemon/lime production are both forecast to climb in 2023–24 compared to the prior season, according to a U.S. Department of Agriculture Foreign Agricultural Service (USDA FAS) report.
TANGERINES AND MANDARINS
Production in 2023–24 is forecast to reach 950,000 metric tons (MT), up 3% from the previous season. The increase is largely due to intensified irrigation efforts aimed at mitigating the negative impacts of heatwaves on crops.
Growers in southern Morocco reported that while heatwaves have negatively impacted various agricultural crops, the timing of the most severe heatwave occurred after the citrus flowering phase. That somewhat reduced its effect on the tangerine and mandarin harvest. Additionally, growers in southern Morocco’s Souss-Massa region noted that drought conditions led to delayed fruit maturation, resulting in an abundance of smaller-sized fruits.
USDA FAS projects Morocco’s 2023–24 tangerine and mandarin exports to reach 450,000 MT, similar to the previous season.
The export season did not start until the second week of November due to a delay in fruit maturation. Industry sources in the south reported that the fruits are smaller in size and drier than usual. Consequently, many farmers chose to postpone harvesting, resulting in a delay to the start of the export season.
The European Union and Russia continue to be the primary export destinations for Morocco’s tangerines and mandarins.
Moroccan exporters are encountering challenges in shipping their products to the North American market, mainly because of issues in securing reservations on conventional ships. Consequently, the majority are turning to container shipping as an alternative, largely driven by the lower costs of containers. This situation is expected to reduce Moroccan tangerine and mandarin exports to the United States and Canada in 2023–24.
LEMONS AND LIMES
Moroccan lemon and lime production for 2023–24 is expected to reach 40,000 MT, about 14% more than the prior season. Production increases are due to the increase in area harvested.
Lemon/lime exports for 2023–24 are projected to be flat at 7,000 MT.
Read about expected Moroccan orange and OJ production here.
Source: USDA FAS
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