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Tomato Takeover: How Morocco Seized the Second Spot in the EU's Tomato Trade

Wednesday 28 February 2024 - 11:16
Tomato Takeover: How Morocco Seized the Second Spot in the EU's Tomato Trade

Morocco has officially surpassed Spain to become the European Union's second-largest supplier of tomatoes. According to a recent report from industry group Hortoinfo utilizing Eurostat trade data, Morocco exported nearly 492 million kilograms of tomatoes to the EU in 2023, slightly edging out Spain's 463 million kilograms.

This significant shift marks a notable change from just five years ago. Between 2019 and 2023, the value of Morocco's tomato exports to the bloc nearly doubled, soaring from 520 million euros to an impressive 1 billion euros. During this same period, Morocco increased its EU market share by an impressive 18.86 percent.

In contrast, Spain experienced a sharp decline in its market share, plummeting by over 25 percent, consequently dropping from second to third place behind Morocco. Although the total volume of tomato imports across the EU experienced a slight dip, falling by 3.21 percent to 2.6 million tons, the overall market value remained steady at 5 billion euros.

Naturally, the Netherlands maintained its position as the leading supplier, providing over 650 million kilos. However, Morocco's gains indicate that its tomato industry is swiftly closing the gap. This development equips Morocco with increased leverage as a trade partner and supplier to food markets throughout Europe.

So, how did Morocco achieve this unexpected takeover of Spain's former position? Experts attribute it to significant investments in greenhouses, irrigation systems, and collaboration with Spanish agribusinesses. Only time will reveal if Morocco can sustain its momentum and continue to make strides in Europe's lucrative tomato trade. However, for now, the nation can relish its newfound status as a serious contender on the continent.

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