Morocco’s presence in the global blueberry market is steadily expanding, and one of its most rapidly growing markets is the United Arab Emirates (UAE), as reported by EastFruit. In the marketing year 2022/23 (July-June), Morocco secured its position at the top of the list of blueberry suppliers to the UAE, surpassing South Africa.
It’s noteworthy to mention that Morocco had not previously exported large quantities of blueberries to the UAE. However, Moroccan growers’ efforts to explore alternative markets outside of Europe proved successful, leading to the introduction of Moroccan blueberries into the Middle East market, including the UAE.
In the marketing year 2020/21, Morocco only shipped 211 tonnes of blueberries to the UAE market. Subsequently, export volumes tripled, reaching 982 tonnes with a total value of $6.3 million in the marketing year 2022/23.
The UAE imports blueberries from various countries, including Morocco, South Africa, the Netherlands, Peru, and 22 other countries in the marketing year 2022/23. Just a few years ago, the leading blueberry suppliers were the Netherlands, the USA, and Spain. South Africa later took the top spot, accounting for over a third of the total blueberry imports in the UAE.
Meanwhile, Morocco continued to increase its market share. Morocco’s share of imports in the UAE was a mere 2.6% just five years ago. However, in 2022/23, this share surged to 36% and reached a staggering 80% between February and May. Consequently, Morocco emerged as the primary supplier of blueberries to the UAE, surpassing South Africa.
Nevertheless, despite this intense competition among suppliers, Morocco and South Africa do not directly compete. This is because Morocco exports blueberries to the UAE from January to June, while blueberries from South Africa are imported from July to December. As a result, the two countries collectively ensure a year-round supply of blueberries in the UAE market.