Last year, the unprecedented summer heat in Morocco disrupted the planting schedules for raspberries and strawberries, leading to shortages and increased prices in the European market this season. This extreme weather not only affected the vegetable sector but also had a significant impact on the berry segment, according to Nabil Belmkaddem from the Moroccan cooperative BestBerry.
Belmkaddem highlighted the major heatwave in the Agadir region during the summer, which slowed the growth of summer raspberry plantings, resulting in an atypical winter raspberry peak from Agadir. In August, the region experienced its highest-ever temperature of 50.4°C, causing greenhouse temperatures to soar to an intolerable 70°C.
Both strawberry and raspberry plantings have decreased compared to the previous season, influenced by the adverse effects of the heat and other climatic factors. In northern Morocco, a severe storm in late October caused extensive damage to raspberry farms, contributing to the current shortage of raspberries in European markets and higher prices. Additionally, strawberry prices have risen due to reduced planting areas and delayed plantings resulting from the summer heat.
Moroccan early blueberry varieties are already in production, with prices higher than those of the previous season. Belmkaddem noted that, consistently, more volumes of Moroccan blueberries are now being sold in Asia each year.