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Morocco’s Melon Exports to Spain Surges to $10 Million in 2023

Rabat – Morocco’s melon exporters to Spain reached all-time high levels with $10 million in export revenues and 13.8 thousand tons, according to a report from East Fruit.

Spain’s adverse weather patterns in 2023 contributed significantly to the surge in imports from Morocco. Heatwaves, heavy rains, and hailstorms devastated local melon crops, pushing Spain to seek imports not just during spring but also in the summer months. 

With Senegal’s season ended and Brazil’s yet to begin, Morocco swiftly emerged as the primary supplier, shipping over 8 thousand tons in July alone – more than half of the total volume for the year.

While Brazil typically dominates Spain’s imports, Morocco’s share of Spain’s total imports rose from 6-8% to an astounding 18%, making the country the third largest melon supplier to Spain, overtaking the Netherlands.

The figures indicate that Morocco is rapidly emerging as a strong watermelon exporter. On a global level, Moroccan growers have positioned themselves as the 12th largest melon exporter.

With 57 thousand tons already shipped abroad in 2023, revenues from watermelon exports exceeded $61 million. While Morocco’s melon trade is increasingly on the rise, France remains the main export market in an expanding network of 40 countries.

As Morocco grapples with water security, the country has been actively attempting to restrict the cultivation of water-intensive crops. In September 2022, the Agriculture Ministry announced discontinuing irrigation subsidies for watermelon and avocado crops. 

Read Also: Morocco Steps to Regulate Watermelon Production Amid Water Scarcity

In October of this year, authorities in Zagora, a key production province of the water-intensive crop, issued a decision limiting the maximum areas allowed for the cultivation of watermelon to one hectare.

The decision to halt irrigation subsidies was prompted by a wave of online campaigns advocating for the halt of water-intensive crop cultivation. 

Moroccan environmental organizations, including Morocco Environment 2050, have been urging the government to halt the cultivation of watermelon and avocados.

Last year’s severe drought pushed Moroccan dams to a record-low filling rate, marking a five-year low. 

Source: Morocco World News