The Moroccan citrus season started on 25th September with the clementine harvest, the first citrus fruit arrived in the UK on the first week of October, with the first arrivals in Europe the following week.
Agadir in the central south of Morocco is the first city to harvest and runs until the end of July, Marrakesh, Beni Mellal and Gharb in the central region start on 10th October with Berkane in the Oriental region running from the of end of October until the end of March.
According to the Moroccan Citrus Interprofessional Federation, there will be an increase of 15 to 20%, or between 600 and 650 thousand tonnes of exports. At the moment the season is looking normal with just a slight delay in the rainy season.
Citrus plantations have currently stabilised at around 135 thousand hectares planted, with regular renewal of plantations, the varietal profile is currently relatively stable.
Other than the European Union and the UK, Morocco exports its citrus fruits to Russia, the Gulf countries, Canada, USA and Asia.
“The fact that UK is no longer inside our traditional European market, with whom we had a comprehensive important trade agreement, gives both the UK and Morocco a totally new environment full of opportunities,” explains El Mehdi El Alami, Director of Promotion and Development of Morocco Foodex.
“These include a new range of Moroccan products specific to the needs of UK markets, direct commercial relationship between operators, new competitive situation towards continental producers and new lines of logistics. Our communication campaign builds on our longstanding relationship with the UK and aims to highlight these new opportunities.”