Tough times for Moroccan exporters in 2020

Exporting companies based in Morocco are facing enormous challenges to juggle the coronavirus impact due to a rise in the cost of risk emanating from orders cancellation, trade barriers and low demand.

In the first three months this year, most of which was coronavirus-free, exports dropped 18% compared to the same period last year, according to foreign exchange office.

In April, exports plummeted by 47.2% while imports dropped 33% as lockdown measures weighed on the global economy leaving Morocco’s trade deficit narrowing by 1.9% in the first four months this year.

“Concerning May, we still have no data available but we are aware that the situation has further worsened,” said Hassani Maghraoui director of protection and trade regulation at the industry and trade ministry.

Speaking at a virtual meeting with Moroccan exporters, Maghraoui cited bleak prospects issued by the WTO forecasting a 13% to 32% plunge in trade in 2020.

“We should expect very limited export performance,” he said.

Moroccan exporters should brace for a meagre demand in the European market where consumers tend to save more in order to be able to deal with challenges posed by coronavirus limiting consumption to necessities, he said.

Another worrying factor is the insolvency of many European enterprises which would require a gradual restart, he said, warning of the rise of the far right and their tendency to trade protectionism.

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