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"The Dutch market tends to prefer Moroccan avocados"

This season, Moroccan avocado exporters turned in a fine performance, exporting 60,000 tonnes - an all-time record. Which markets were most interested in Moroccan avocados this season? Salah Eddine Belkadi, CEO of Unique Packing, answers this question.

Belkadi says, "Moroccan avocado exports are increasing from one season to the next. We expect total exports to reach 100,000 tonnes by 2027. The surfaces are already planted, it's just a question of waiting for the trees to reach the maturity required for this yield. So it's only a matter of time. This bears witness to the strong demand, particularly from the countries of the European Union and the UK."

The British market has been particularly fond of Moroccan avocados this season, says Belkadi. He explains: "Our campaign to European Union markets lasted until the beggining of March when customers were no longer willing to follow our prices. The campaign then ended at 16 euros for a 4 kg box. After the beggining of March, British customers kept buying Moroccan avocados at 17 euros and more, until the end of the season."

It's a trend that changes every year," continues the exporter. "Last season, France was the most dynamic destination for Moroccan avocados, with prices reaching 17.5-17.7 EUR at Rungis Market."

In addition to the UK, the Dutch market is particularly hot this season, says Belkadi. "We decided to specialize in the Dutch market 5 years ago. Based on our research at the time, avocados accounted for 20% of Dutch fruit imports. That's 37-38% of avocados imported into Europe. It's only natural for us to take a special interest in this market."

"The Dutch market tends to prefer Moroccan avocados," says Belkadi, "our avocados give better results post-ripening than other competing origins. For Peruvian or Colombian avocados, for example, ripening in the Netherlands leaves a waste of up to 20%. Moroccan avocados, on the other hand, leave no more than 4-5% waste. Our Dutch customers have understood that it is more economical to buy Moroccan avocados, despite the lower prices of Latin American avocados.

The market configuration is set to change next season, due to the expected change in Moroccan production sizes. Belkadi explains: "This season, we've had an abundance of small sizes, which are preferred by the British market, whereas Europe prefers large sizes. Size distribution is known to be cyclical. Next season, large sizes will be more present in Moroccan avocados, and we can expect an increase in European demand throughout the season."

The exporter concludes: "At Unique Packing, we keep pace with the growth of the sector at the national level. This season, we are honored to rank 2nd among Moroccan exporters, with a volume of 6,000 tons, or 10% of exports. This performance surpasses last season's figures, when we ranked 3rd, and bears witness to the quality of our work, rewarded by the confidence of our customers. Our goal is to move up to 2nd or 1st position thanks to the opening of a new packing station with a capacity of 15,000 tonnes per season, which will be operational in 2026. It's an investment of over 4 million euros, and will be located on the Loukkous agropolis in Larache."

For more information:
Salah Eddine Belkadi
Unique Packing
Tel: +212 661-461060
Email: [email protected]