Farming: Morocco, EU’s 1st supplier of tomatoes

Farming: Morocco, EU’s 1st supplier of tomatoes

Morocco remains the first supplier of the European Union market with fresh tomatoes, confirming its competitive edge and strong strategic partnership sealed the European bloc.

In 2021, around 67% of EU fresh tomatoes imports were from Morocco (the largest source of imports), followed by Turkey which increased its share in the EU market (25% in 2021/+5 pp above 2020), says the European Commission in its latest short-term outlook for EU agricultural markets.

EU imports of fresh tomatoes (continuing upward trend) are expected to increase in 2022 by 3% to 730,000 t (23% above 5-year average), while EU exports of this product continue declining, following a 10-year trend, underlines the report.

In 2022, they are expected to drop to 330,000 t (-12%/2021) as a consequence of Brexit and gradual loss of the UK market (75% of EU fresh exports in 2021) due to increased competition from Morocco in particular.

In Jan-Mar, exports to UK dropped by 28% compared to the same period last year.

Due to high EU production in 2021, imports of processed tomatoes are lower in 2022 (-28% year-on-year, with the volume close to pre-pandemic average), while exports are expected to increase by 3%.

Lower imports are also partially explained by a lower production (and hence lower exports) in Ukraine where the production is expected to decline by 75% due to the conflict. A reversed trend is expected in 2023 given the lower EU production in 2022 and a production increase outside of the EU.

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