Automotive industry unseats phosphates again as Morocco’s top exporting sector

Automotive industry unseats phosphates again as Morocco’s top exporting sector

Sales abroad by all segments of the automotive sector gained traction in the first quarter this year becoming Morocco’s top exporting sector again ahead of phosphates’ sales which topped exports last year.

Morocco is home to two large plants by Stellantis and Renault as well as an automotive ecosystem exporting wire harness and interior parts and other components.

The sector exported 3.4 billion dollars, up 45% up to March compared to the same period last year. The automotive industry has stood on the top of the podium of exports over the last eight years and gave its place to phosphates only last year on the back of high prices.

Renault produces 400,000 vehicles annually with an integration rate of 65% while Stellantis produces 200,000 with a local sourcing rate of 70%, putting Morocco as 20th largest car producer globally.

The value of phosphates and derivatives exports, including fertilizers, dropped to 1.8 billion dollars from 2.4 billion the same period last year as prices in the international market decreased.

However, as imports outpace exports, the trade deficit deepened 13.5% to 7.26 billion dollars, due in part to a surge in the energy bill to 2.83 billion dollars, up 15.7%.

The deficit was mitigated by a recovery in tourism receipts which more than doubled to 2.5 billion dollars, auguring well for a sector that was shattered by the pandemic.

Tourism minister had expected tourism revenue to exceed 10 billion dollars this year as Morocco launched a promotional campaign including re-establishing and opening new air routes and diversifying attractions to receive more visitors.

Meanwhile, remittances by Moroccans abroad jumped 16% to 2.7 billion dollars, up to March.

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