Demand for Moroccan peppers seems to be picking up after a slowdown caused by the end-of-year holiday period. Obeida Mansour, CEO of Universal Peppers, shares information on the progress of the campaign.
Mansour says, "The Moroccan campaign was slowed down during the festive season, which is normal and observed every year. Export volumes were then halved. But we are now seeing a return to a normal export pace and are on track to reach peak exports by the end of January and during February."
Unlike tomatoes, Moroccan peppers have not seen a drop in prices in Europe, assures Mansour. He says, "We continue to receive good prices, which is essential for us given the huge losses suffered due to viruses."
"Pepper growers continue to bear the full brunt of viruses, particularly TSW and PMMV, which are wreaking havoc and forcing growers to tear out large areas in order to control the spread. Precaution, staff training, and quarantine are important and can make a difference, but once the damage has been done, pulling out is the only solution and concerns up to 10% of cultivated areas," adds the grower.
On the local Moroccan market, peppers are recording significant price drops due to the increase in customs taxes by Mauritania, which is impacting all exports to West Africa. Mansour says, "Prices have fallen by around 38% in the last week and nearly 60% since Mauritania increased taxes."
Today, the bulk of Moroccan pepper volumes go to Europe. Mansour says, "At Universal Peppers, all of our volumes are exported to Germany, and about half are then re-exported to Eastern European countries."
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