Brexit boosts sales of Moroccan blueberries to the United Kingdom and leaves Spain behind

Morocco continues to conquer the British market at an accelerated pace. A record volume of Moroccan blueberries was delivered to the UK market in the current season. Furthermore, Morocco managed to surpass one of the largest exporters of this product, Spain, in terms of shipments of blueberries to the United Kingdom.

Moroccan producers were able to establish blueberry sales on the British market and increase their deliveries 29 times in just three years! Thus, in the 2022/23 campaign (considering the period from July to June), the volume of exports of Moroccan blueberries to the United Kingdom exceeded 11.000 tons and export income almost reached 60 million dollars.

Exports of Moroccan fruits, vegetables and berries to the United Kingdom intensified after Brexit. In the 2022/23 campaign, the North African country was able to deliver a record volume of raspberries to the British market, giving Morocco the opportunity to bypass Spain and become the number one supplier of this berry to the United Kingdom.

Blueberries are in high demand among British consumers and imports have been growing year after year. Thus, between July 2022 and June 2023, around 60.000 tonnes of blueberries were imported to the United Kingdom, and the country ranked fifth on the list of global importers.

Peru, Morocco, Spain, Chile, Poland, Netherlands – this is not a complete list of countries exporting blueberries to the UK, and in the 2022/23 campaign, blueberries from 25 countries arrived in the UK.

Almost a quarter of total imports correspond to Peru, the world leader in blueberry exports. It was followed, until recently, by Spain, which occupies fifth place in the ranking of the largest suppliers of blueberries.

In addition, Spain previously also actively imported Moroccan blueberries, thus extending the season of its own sales. However, several years ago, Moroccan exports to Spain decreased and a significant portion of Moroccan blueberry supply began to be shipped directly to consuming countries, including the United Kingdom.

Thus, exports of blueberries from Morocco to the British market grew amid a decrease in supply from Spain. As a result, Morocco's share of the UK's total imports increased to 19% and the North African country rose to second place in the import structure.

For Morocco, blueberries are an important export product. A year ago they occupied fourth place in the country's export income structure, and this year, in just six months, they moved to second position.

The main export flows of Moroccan blueberries are directed to Europe and, in the 2022/23 campaign, they were exported to 37 foreign markets. This brought Morocco 315 million dollars in export income and gave the country the opportunity to occupy eighth place in the ranking of world suppliers of this product.

Unfortunately, Storm Bernard, which hit Morocco, Spain and Portugal last month, caused quite significant damage to plantations of early blueberry varieties. Farmers are still assessing the losses, but it can already be predicted that berry prices will increase significantly.

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