Morocco's Olive Oil Exports Reach Record Levels as Domestic Prices Rise

The latest trade data shows significant growth in Moroccan olive oil exports, but low production has raised prices domestically.
Port of Casablanca. Morocco
By Paolo DeAndreis
Jan. 31, 2023 14:24 UTC

The fig­ures for Morocco’s 2022 olive oil exports show an 85 per­cent growth in vol­ume and a 49 per­cent growth in value com­pared to 2021.

Data released by the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development show that such growth fares well above the aver­age for Moroccan food exports. In 2022, agri­cul­tural and mar­itime food ship­ments grew 20 per­cent from the pre­vi­ous year.

According to the Ministry, Morocco’s over­all agri­cul­tural and agri-food exports exceeded MAD 73.8 mil­lion (€6,6 mil­lion) in November 2022. Much of that increased value is due to higher exports to the North American mar­kets.

As reported by H24info, data from December 2022 shows that the coun­try sur­passed the MAD 80 mil­lion thresh­old in food export value for the first time. In 2021, it reported a total of MAD 62.36 mil­lion.

International Olive Council fig­ures show that in the 2021/2022 sea­son, Morocco exported 28 thou­sand tons of olive oil, more than dou­bling the pre­vi­ous two years’ num­bers.

Olive oil export esti­mates for 2023 remain uncer­tain due to the sig­nif­i­cantly reduced pro­duc­tion reported by some of the prin­ci­pal pro­duc­ing coun­ties. This drop has trig­gered price increases and volatil­ity in the import/export mar­kets.

While offi­cial har­vest fig­ures are still lack­ing, local observers have con­firmed a sig­nif­i­cant olive oil yield decrease in Morocco. The main rea­sons are rain­fall scarcity, heat­waves and drought. These cli­mate fac­tors affected the many rain­fed olive orchards in Morocco, just as they have hurt the har­vest in other coun­tries of the west­ern Mediterranean Basin.

Because of the fall in pro­duc­tion, olive oil prices for Moroccan con­sumers have also grown sig­nif­i­cantly.

As reported by, the National Food Safety Office (NFSO) has announced a round of strict checks on olive oil traded in the coun­try.

Recently, Rachid Benali, pres­i­dent of Morocco’s Interprofessional Olive Oil Association (Interprolive), warned con­sumers that an increase in olive oil fraud is likely.

See Also:Low Availability and Rising Prices Spark Concerns of Olive Oil Fraud in Morocco

About 85 per­cent of all olive oil con­sumed in the coun­try is mar­keted in bulk, mak­ing it more dif­fi­cult for law enforce­ment offi­cials to counter poten­tial fraud.

That is why NFSO has appealed to Moroccan cit­i­zens to pur­chase only prod­ucts cor­rectly labeled, duly pack­aged and rec­om­mended by the agency.

In the last few days, the mat­ter has reached the Moroccan Parliament. As reported by LeSiteInfo, rep­re­sen­ta­tive Rachid Hamouni from the Party of Progress and Socialism warned his col­leagues that the MAD 80 (€7,25) thresh­old for a one-liter bot­tle of olive oil has already been reached in sev­eral areas.

Hamouni warned against trade spec­u­la­tions, which, in his view, are also caus­ing rises in olive oil prices.

During a ses­sion of the House of Representatives, the Government was offi­cially asked about the mea­sures they will take to keep olive oil prices afford­able for all fam­i­lies since olive oil plays a cru­cial role in the local culi­nary tra­di­tion.


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