Citrus Semi-annual

An Expert's View about Citrus Fruits in Morocco

Last updated: 15 Jun 2011

Morocco’s citrus production for 2010/11 is estimated at 1.7 million MT, about 10 percent higher than production in 2009/2010.

THIS REPORT CONTAINS ASSESSMENTS OF COMMODITY AND TRADE ISSUES MADE BY USDA STAFF AND NOT NECESSARILY STATEMENTS OF OFFICIAL U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY Required Report - public distribution Date: 6/7/2011 GAIN Report Number: MO1107 Morocco Citrus Semi-annual 2011 Approved By: Hassan F. Ahmed, U.S. Embassy, Rabat Prepared By: Idriss El Honsali, U.S. Embassy, Rabat Report Highlights: Morocco?s citrus production for 2010/11 is estimated at 1.7 million MT, about 10 percent higher than production in 2009/2010. Fresh citrus exports in October-May 2010/2011 totaled 511,426 MT, an increase of 8 percent over exports during the same period of the previous year and about 85 percent of the year?s export target. Small citrus exports totaled 349,135 MT, up 8 percent, while orange exports totaled 157,231 MT, up 6 percent. Russia overtook the lead as the main destination for Morocco?s citrus exports replacing the EU market. Citrus exports to Russia soared to 257,866 MT, of which were 183,403 MT small citrus fruits and 71,822 MT oranges. Citrus exports to the U.S. reached 20,896 MT, about 35 percent higher than exports in 2009/2010. The start of Morocco?s citrus exports to the newly opened Chinese market was very humble, with only 60 MT of Clementine and Nova shipped in 2010/11. Production: Fresh Citrus Production According to Ministry of Agriculture?s data, total area planted with citrus in Morocco is estimated at 88,800 hectare (HA), of which there are 45, 283 HA of oranges, 39,320 HA of small citrus fruits and 7,140 HA other citrus (lemons, limes and grape fruits). The Souss region (Agadir and Taroudent) accounts for nearly half of Morocco?s citrus production, and about 70 percent of its total citrus exports. This region continues to face critical water shortages which impede plans for future expansion of the citrus growing areas. In contrast, the Gharb region in the northern part of Morocco (Kenitra and Sidi Kacem) appears to have high potential for production growth. The expansion of citrus production in the Gharb area, however, has been constrained by aging orchards, limited number of citrus varieties, and lack of new investment. Water scarcity in the Souss region, and the appeal of the export markets encouraged many leading citrus producers to consider the Gharb area as an alternative region to expand citrus production. Morocco?s total citrus production for 2010/11 is estimated at 1.7 million MT, about 10 percent higher than production in 2009/2010. Orange production is estimated at 904,000 MT, up 10 percent, while small citrus fruit production rose 13 percent to 716,000 MT. This increase was mostly due to entry into production of about 2,000 HA of new citrus plantations, mainly in the Haouz and Gharb areas. Higher yields from the relatively new small citrus varieties have contributed to the overall production increase this year. The average yield is estimated at 21 MT/HA, which is about 6 percent higher than the previous year. Morocco?s citrus production continues to be dominated by the traditional Clementine, Navels and Maroc-late varieties (78 percent of total production). Some locally developed varieties such as the small citrus fruit Nour and Afourer (11 percent of production) have been very attractive to citrus growers. These varieties have the advantages of being a higher quality and late harvest that extends the season through February and thus increases their availability to the export markets. The citrus marketing season in Morocco starts in early October with the harvest of early Clementine varieties which runs through March, along with main varieties Maroc Late and Salustiana. Orange harvest starts in November and continues through late June, with Navel and late hybrid varieties that extend the marketing season. Lemons are harvested throughout the entire season, from October until July. The Moroccan Citrus Producers Association (ASPAM) is currently implementing an ambitious long-term plan to boost Morocco?s citrus production by 2018 to 2.9 million MT, 70 percent increase over the current production level. Small citrus varieties are expected to provide the largest share of this increase with total production projected at 1.35 million MT. Oranges production is forecast to reach 1.42 million MT, while lemon production projected at 65,000 MT and other citrus at 60,000 MT. In order to help create employment in the sector, provide consistent supplies and a longer harvest season, ASPAM is aiming at expanding the citrus production period through increased planting of late-maturing varieties such as Nadorcott and Nour. Processed Citrus Production The citrus processing sector in Morocco is facing stiff competition in sourcing raw materials in the fresh citrus market. This is mainly due to the low prices offered by orange juice processors compared to prices offered in the fresh market. There are five citrus processing plants currently operating in Morocco, of which three are producers of single strength orange juice that can hardly meet demand from local market buyers. Fresh oranges delivered to juice processors are currently estimated at about 40,000 MT annually. ASPAM?s long-term goal is to have 200,000 MT of fresh citrus allocated annually for juice processing by 2018. This quantity would be the equivalent of about 60 million liters of juice. Morocco?s orange juice market is currently estimated at about 50 million liters, of which 20 million comes from processing fresh citrus and the rest is imported juice or from concentrate. Trade: Morocco?s fresh citrus export season starts about mid-October with Clementine-like varieties. The mid-season varieties such as bloody oranges, Salustiana, and Navel provide a bridge through March/April period, when the Maroc-Late variety takes over until July. Fresh citrus exports during the October-May of 2010/2011 period totaled 511,426 MT, reaching 85 percent of the export target set by the Moroccan government at the beginning of the export campaign. This was about 8 percent higher than the quantity exported during the same period of 2009/10. The overall increase in Moroccan citrus exports this year is mostly due to good fruit quality, especially in terms of fruit sizes, as well as the beneficial impact of last year?s adequate rainfall that resulted in a greater percentage of the citrus harvest being fit for exports. In addition, there has been some improvement in citrus export logistics with the opening of a new shipping line between the port of Agadir (the leading citrus export region) and the port of Saint-Petersburg in Russia, the leading export destination market. The table below provides a breakdown on Morocco?s exports of fresh citrus fruits by varieties for the October- May period in 2009/100 and 2010/11. Table 1: Morocco?s Citrus Exports October ? May Marketing Year 2009/2010 2010/2011 Change MT MT TOTAL SMALL CITRUS 322,390 349,135 8% CLEMENTINES DEVERDIS 158,617 150,944 -5% NOUR 83,345 79,153 -5% CLEMENTINE NATURELLE 43,781 63,283 45% NADORCOTT 23,730 37,929 60% ORTANIQUES NATURELLE 4,867 9,279 91% NOVA 6,200 6,514 5% OTHER SMALL CITRUS 1,850 2,033 10% TOTAL ORANGE 148,513 157,231 6% MAROC LATE 88,164 82,573 -6% WASH. SANGUINES 19,734 25,253 28% SALUSTIANAS 20,025 25,172 26% NAVELS NATURELLES 10,107 15,585 54% NAVEL LANE LATE 3,971 3,887 -2% NAVELS DEVERDIS 5,749 3,805 -34% OTHER ORANGES 763 956 25% OTHER CITRUS 4,434 5,060 14% TOTAL FRESH CITRUS 475,337 511,426 8% Source : E.A.C.C.E Small citrus exports during October-May 2010/2011 totaled 349,135 MT, about 8 percent higher than exports in the previous year, and almost 100 percent of the government?s export target for the marketing year. No additional small citrus exports are projected for the reminder of the marketing year. Orange exports during October-May 2010/2011 totaled 157,231 MT, up 6 percent compared to the same period of the previous campaign and about 65 percent of the export target. It is projected that total orange exports for the 2010/11 marketing year would not exceed 190,000 Mt. Other citrus exports, mainly lemons, are estimated at 5,060 MT, an increase of 14 percent over the same period in 2009/2010. Exports of some varieties like Navels Deverdis and Navels Lane Late declined this year due to increased demand for these varieties in the domestic market, where the Moroccan consumers have preference for the sweeter taste that these varieties offer, while European customers prefer more acidic tasting oranges. Table 2: Small Citrus Export by Destination October- May Marketing Year 2009/2010 2010/2011 Change MT MT Russia 129,913 183,403 41% Total EU 120,657 93,355 -23% Netherlands 49,138 29,595 -40% France 31,291 24,807 -21% England 24,970 17,755 -29% Sweden 5,023 7,811 56% Lithuania 5,314 7,584 43% Poland 1,484 1,961 32% Germany 1,804 1,893 5% Finland 1,077 1,701 58% Other E.U 556 248 -55% Canada 47,550 42,587 -10% U.S.A 15,386 20,876 36% Saudi Arabia 5,481 6,381 16% Norway 2,298 1,285 -44% China 0 60 New Market Others 1,105 1,188 8% Total Small Citrus 322,390 349,135 8% Source : E.A.C.C.E In 2010/11, Russia overtook the lead from the European Union (EU) as the main destination market for Morocco?s citrus exports. Moroccan citrus exports to Russia during October-May 2010/11 soared to 257,866 MT, of which 183,403 MT were small citrus varieties, 71,822 MT oranges, and 2,641 MT lemons. In 2010/11, the Russian market absorbed about 50 percent of Morocco?s fresh citrus exports, while the EU market accounted for 34 percent. This is compared to a reverse situation in 2009/10 when EU imported about 40 percent of Morocco?s total citrus exports, while Russia imported 37 percent of Morocco?s citrus. The rise in Morocco?s exports to the Russian market was mostly due to the opening this year of a new direct shipping line between Morocco and Russia, as well as to the difficulties that Morocco?s citrus suppliers have been facing in order to comply with increasingly complex EU import requirements and standards. Table 3: Oranges Exports by Destination October-May Marketing Year 2009/2010 2010/2011 Change MT MT Russia 60,696 71,822 18% Total EU 84,104 82,136 -2% Netherlands 45,145 38,995 -14% England 15,405 16,347 6% Sweden 3,908 8,367 114% France 9,409 8,263 -12% Germany 3,675 3,309 -10% Belgium 1,618 2,305 42% Lithuania 2,050 1,608 -22% Poland 1,143 1,524 33% Other E.U 1,751 1,418 -19% Senegal 1,316 903 -31% Canada 87 107 23% U.S.A 40 22 -45% Others 2,270 2,241 -1% Total Oranges 148,513 157,231 6% Source : E.A.C.C.E Moroccan citrus exports to the U.S. during October-May 2010/2011 totaled 20,896 MT, most of which were Clementine varieties. About 55 percent of these exports were Clementine Deverdis, 31 percent Nour, and 7 percent Nova. The significant increase in Morocco citrus exports to the U.S. market in recent years could be attributed to the implementation of the U.S.-Morocco Free Trade Agreement (FTA) that started in 2006. It is worth noting that Morocco?s citrus exports to the U.S. in 2006/2007 were about 7,807 MT, and grew to 15,426 MT in 2009/2010. Some issues, however, such as U.S. consumer preference for larger fruit sizes and export transport logistics remain as constraints for expanding Moroccan citrus exports into the U.S. at a larger scale. Modest Start for Moroccan Citrus Exports to China Last year, the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture reached an agreement with China to approve phyto-sanitary requirements for Moroccan citrus exports into the Chinese market. The agreement which approved the registration of 87 hectares in 17 citrus production sites became effective in 2010/11. Approved production sites were mostly for Clementine and Moroccan-Late varieties. Although Moroccan agricultural officials had hoped that the agreement would offer an excellent start for Morocco?s citrus exports to enter and expand into the huge Chinese market, the actual export level has been very modest compared to expectations. In the 2010/11 marketing season, Morocco exported a total of 60 MT of Clementine Deverdis and Nova varieties to China. The Moroccan officials, however, remain hopeful that citrus exports to China would certainly increase in the coming years. Policy: The Moroccan government continues to support the ambitious ASPAM plan to increase citrus production to 2.9 million MT by 2018, through expanding citrus areas by 20,000 HA and renewing old plantation of 30,000 HA. In 2011, about 20, 000 HA of government-owned best farm land were made available to new agricultural investment projects, including citrus plantation. It is expected that a large part of the newly leased land will be devoted to citrus plantation targeted for the export markets. The Moroccan government also continues to provide a set of incentive measures to support citrus growers and encourage new investment in citrus production. The Ministry of Agriculture decree (# 2-09-601) issued in October 2009 increased the support payments for new citrus plantations to 12,000 MDH per hectare ($1,550 HA), up from 7,800 MDH per hectare in the past two years. In addition, there are other incentives that are not crop specific such as digging wells and purchasing of irrigation equipment that are available to citrus growers to establish new citrus orchards. Citrus Production, Supply and Demand Data Statistics: Production Supply and Distribution in Morocco (1000 MT) Tangerines/Mandarins, Fresh 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 Morocco Market Year Begin: Oct 2008 Market Year Begin: Oct 2009 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 USDA Old New USDA Old New USDA Old New Official Post Post Official Post Post Official Post Post Area Planted 37,500 37,500 37,500 37,500 37,500 37,500 33,600 33,600 39,320 (HECTARES) Area Harvested 500 36,500 36,500 31,500 31,500 31,323 (HECTARES 36,000 36,000 36,000 36,) Bearing Trees (1000 TREES 16,200 16,200 16,200 16,500 16,500 16,500 13,926 13,926 17,300 ) Non-Bearing Trees (1000 TREES 675 675 675 700 700 700 928 928 3,500 ) Total No. Of Trees (1000 TREES 16,875 16,875 16,875 17,200 17,200 17,200 14,854 14,854 20,800 ) Production (1000 MT) 532 532 532 635 635 635 715 716 716 Imports (1000 MT) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply(1000 MT) 532 532 532 635 635 635 715 716 716 Exports (1000 MT) 332 332 332 323 323 323 350 351 350 Fresh Dom. Consumption 200 200 200 312 312 312 365 365 366 (1000MT) For Processing 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Distribution (1000 MT) 532 532 532 635 635 635 715 716 716 Oranges, Fresh 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 Morocco Market Year Begin: Oct 2008 Market Year Begin: Oct 2009 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 USDA Old New USDA Old New USDA Old New Official Post Post Official Post Post Official Post Post Area Planted 45,000 45,000 45,000 45,700 45,700 45,700 46,000 46,000 45,283 (HECTARES) Area Harvested 42,000 42,000 42,000 41,000 41,000 4,100 42,000 42,000 42,416 (HECTARES) Bearing Trees(1000 TREES 14,700 14,700 14,700 15,000 15,000 15,000 15,200 15,200 14,950 ) Non-Bearing Trees (1000 TREES 1,050 1,050 1,050 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 1,100 955 ) Total No. Of Trees (1000 TREES 15,750 15,750 15,750 16,100 16,100 16,100 16,300 16,300 15,905 ) Production (1000 MT) 790 790 790 823 823 823 905 904 904 Imports (1000 MT) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply (1000 MT) 790 790 790 823 823 823 905 904 904 Exports (1000 MT) 305 305 305 161 161 161 240 242 190 Fresh Dom. Consumption (1000 MT 453 453 453 627 627 627 628 627 674 ) For Processing (1000 MT 32 32 32 35 35 35 37 35 40 ) Total Distribution (1000 MT 790 790 790 823 823 823 905 904 904 ) Lemons/Limes, Fresh 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 Morocco Market Year Begin: Oct 2008 Market Year Begin: Oct 2009 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 USDA Old New USDA Old New USDA Old New Official Post Post Official Post Post Official Post Post Area Planted (HECTARES 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,200 3,200 3,200 3,200 3,200 4,197 ) Area Harvested 3,000 3,000 3,000 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,100 3,570 (HECTARES) Bearing Trees (1000 TREES 981 981 981 1,013 1,013 1,013 1,013 1,013 1,420 ) Non-Bearing Trees (1000 TREES 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 33 255 ) Total No. Of Trees (1000 TREES 1,014 1,014 1,014 1,046 1,046 1,046 1,046 1,046 1,675 ) Production (1000 MT) 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 46 50 Imports (1000 MT) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Supply (1000 MT 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 46 50 ) Exports (1000 MT) 0 0 0 6 6 6 4 4 7 Fresh Dom. Consumption (1000 MT 45 45 45 40 40 40 42 42 43 ) For Processing (1000 MT 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 ) Total Distribution (1000 MT 45 45 45 46 46 46 46 46 50 ) Orange Juice 2008/2009 2009/2010 2010/2011 Morocco Market Year Begin: Oct 2008 Market Year Begin: Oct 2009 Market Year Begin: Oct 2010 USDA Old New USDA Old New USDA Old New Official Post Post Official Post Post Official Post Post Deliv. To Processors (MT) 32,000 32,000 32,000 35,000 35,000 35,000 37,000 37,000 40,000 Beginning Stocks (MT) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Production (MT) 3,200 3,200 3,200 3,500 3,500 3,500 3,700 3,700 4,000 Imports (MT) 1,400 1,400 1,400 1,200 1,200 1,200 1,300 1,300 1,300 Total Supply (MT) 4,600 4,600 4,600 4,700 4,700 4,700 5,000 5,000 5,300 Exports (MT) 1,800 1,800 1,800 1,900 1,900 1,900 2,000 2,000 2,100 Domestic Consumption (MT) 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 2,800 3,000 3,000 3,200 Ending Stocks (MT) 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 Total Distribution (MT) 4,600 4,600 4,600 4,700 4,700 4,700 5,000 5,000 5,300
Posted: 15 June 2011, last updated 15 June 2011

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