Morocco became the leading blueberry supplier to the UAE in the marketing year 2022/23, leaving behind its previous competitor, South Africa, according to a report from EastFruit.
In the marketing year 2020/21, Morocco shipped a mere 211 tonnes of blueberries to the UAE market.
However, within just two years, export volumes skyrocketed, reaching an impressive 982 tonnes valued at $6.3 million in the 2022/23 marketing year.
The UAE, a hub for international trade, sources blueberries from multiple countries, including South Africa, the Netherlands, Peru, and a total of 22 others in the 2022/23 marketing year.
Just a few years ago, the Netherlands, USA, and Spain were the primary blueberry suppliers to the UAE. South Africa subsequently took the lead, accounting for over a third of total blueberry imports.
Morocco, however, steadily increased its market share. Only five years ago, Morocco contributed a mere 2.6% of blueberry imports to the UAE.
This year, the figure surged to 36% and reached a staggering 80% during the months of February to May.
Morocco predominantly exports blueberries to the UAE from January to June, while South African blueberries fill the market from July to December. The two countries collaborate to ensure a year-round supply of blueberries in the market, rather than engaging in direct competition.
The growing flow of foreign investments into Morocco’s berry industry is helping the North African country become a major exporter of the product.
By increasing its share in the fruits and particularly in the berries market, Morocco is directly competing with traditional exporters such as Spain, France, and Italy over the EU market.