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Morocco maintains high palm date import rates

Morocco, a major global importer of dates, continues to maintain robust import figures for this product during the 2023/24 season, as reported by EastFruit. However, the final results for the current season may still be slightly lower than the previous one due to increased local production.

Between October 2023 and March 2024, Morocco has already imported 103,000 tons of dates, which is nearly equivalent to the same period in the previous season. This import volume also exceeds the average imports over the three seasons preceding the previous one.

Nevertheless, there are two primary reasons why Morocco may not surpass the figures from the 2022/23 season. Firstly, local date production in Morocco increased by 7% in 2023, reaching 115,000 tons according to estimates from the Ministry of Agriculture. Secondly, the peak of date imports into the country aligns with Ramadan celebrations – typically, import volumes reach their maximum just before and during Ramadan.

Since the timing of Ramadan shifts each year, date import volumes adjust accordingly. Consequently, in the 2023/24 season, the peak of date imports already occurred in February, suggesting that the remaining months will likely see lower volumes compared to the previous season.

Morocco ranks as the second-largest date importer globally, following India. Dates remain the top fruit and vegetable import category in Morocco. Approximately 90% of date imports come from four countries: the UAE, Egypt, Tunisia, and Algeria. Among these, the UAE leads in terms of supply. However, in the current season, thanks to active growth in total exports, Egypt may surpass the UAE in the Moroccan market. Egypt set a record for date exports to Morocco in the 2022/23 season and has already exceeded it by supplying 33,000 tons of dates to the Moroccan market from October 2023 to March 2024.


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