Morocco is set to achieve a record-breaking year in avocado imports, surpassing its well-established local production. Despite ranking as the ninth-largest global exporter of avocados by the end of 2022, the country imported a remarkable 13.5 thousand tons within just the initial nine months of the following year—marking the highest volume in eight years.
Avocados, not traditionally a staple in Moroccan cuisine like dates or raisins, have gained popularity globally, with Morocco embracing them in local salads, smoothies, and various dishes. In just seven years, avocado imports have more than tripled from 4 thousand tons to the current record, valued at 8.5 million dollars.
The surge in avocado imports is attributed to an expanding consumption season from March to September when local supply is limited. Additionally, the flourishing tourism industry, with an anticipated record number of visitors in 2023, has positively influenced product imports, including avocados.
Peru stands out as the primary supplier, accounting for 78% of Morocco’s avocado imports in the first nine months of 2023. Despite Spain, the fourth-largest global exporter, losing some market share, avocados from Spain still contribute to the Moroccan market. Smaller quantities also arrive from South Africa, Brazil, and Kenya.
Despite challenges, Morocco’s avocado exports are on the rise. From being the 12th largest exporter in 2017, the country climbed to the ninth position in 2022, exporting over 55 thousand tons. The first nine months of the current year have already seen exports surpassing 23 thousand tons.
Despite water resource challenges and calls to restrict water consumption due to climate change and drought, Morocco exhibits environmental consciousness. It uses at least half as much water as its competitors (Peru, Chile, Israel, or South Africa) to produce 1 kg of avocados. Future strategies involve adopting modern technologies like subsurface drip irrigation and water recycling to sustain avocado production, ensuring both environmental preservation and a stable income from global avocado exports.