Morocco’s watermelon exports to Spain took a nose dive in the first half of 2023, dropping by nearly 50%.
Data compiled by Hortoinfo, sourced from the statistical service Estacom (Icex-Tax Agency), reveals this striking shift in trade dynamics.
Over the first six months of 2023, Spain purchased only 53.5 million kilograms of watermelon from Morocco, down from a staggering 106.8 million kilograms a year earlier, according to data cited in report from Spanish media Hortoinfo.
The overall value of imports reached €40.9 million for these reduced imports, at an average price of €0.76 per kilogram, compared to €74.8 million at an average price of €0.70 per kilogram last year.
While Morocco’s watermelon exports to Spain have declined, it still holds the top position as the primary supplier of watermelons to the Spanish market.
Senegal ranks second, with 19.34 million kilograms imported, valued at €10.85 million, and an average price of €0.56 per kilogram.
Mauritania follows as the third-largest watermelon supplier to Spain in the first half of 2023, providing 12.6 million kilograms, at a total value of nearly €11 million, and an average price of €0.86 per kilogram.
Watermelon production in Morocco is facing heavy scrutiny as advocates are calling for the government to halt production to preserve dwindling water resources.
In the wake of a number of online campaigns, the country decided to end irrigation subsidies in September 2022.
Several Moroccan environmental associations, including Morocco Environment 2050, have been demanding the government end the cultivation of watermelon and avocados.