Four years in a row of intense heat and water shortages take their toll on Moroccan clementines. The early citrus season is being very complicated, according to reports from professional sources in the largest citrus regions, such as Souss-Massa, Berkane and Marrakech.
Especially for the fruit of fortune from the Alauí Kingdom, which has obtained very low volumes, they have practically reduced the harvest of mandarins by half, and the sizes are too small for this citrus fruit, according to Fresh Plaza.
One of the four major citrus regions, Beni Mellal, has not escaped the situation. All clementine areas are affected, said Ahmed Bouljid, co-owner of the Lexus packaging plant. “The situation differs slightly from area to area, but unfortunately it is a failure everywhere. Beni Mallal has also been affected by the heat and lack of rain. There are dried clementines everywhere. Berkan is doing better in terms of quality, but the calibers are smaller than usual. We can consider it a less than fruitful start to the season.”
The owner of the Lexus packaging plant has pointed out that “everything will depend on the rains in the coming weeks. We will see it more clearly in January. We do everything possible to obtain the best boxes from each area, there are still good quality exportable clementines. We will see how things are going for the missing varieties. We still have the Afourer, Navel and Maroc Late, which will arrive next year.”
The season, given the climatic circumstances, is also difficult for other exports. “Like avocados, with falling prices due to tough competition from Latin America. The situation is more difficult because this year the sizes are smaller. Things may improve in January, but everything will depend on the quantity of South American avocados that Europeans manage to store,” added Bouljid.
They do not achieve the expected figures
Morocco’s main export crop is these citrus fruits and they are harvested between September and November. The US Department of Agriculture forecast that Morocco would produce 2.55 million tons of citrus fruits in the 2021/22 season, given the favorable production conditions, as well as the increase in the area planted with citrus fruits.
Finally, climate change and weather conditions are becoming more extreme, making it difficult for the North American country to achieve its goals. The US expected the production of mandarins and lemons to increase by 13% year-on-year to reach 1.36 million tons, and that the production of oranges would grow by 11% year-on-year to reach 1.15 million tons. In addition, lemon and lime production is expected to increase by 2% year-on-year to reach 45,000 tons.
The egregious prediction was made regarding exports of mandarins and tangerines, which they predicted would increase by 8% to 500,000 tons, but as the owner of the packaging plant has explained, it is becoming more difficult every year.