In August, 2023, Poland revealed its blossoming appetite for Morocco tomatoes through record imports.
Morocco exported $2.7 million worth of vegetable produce to Poland in 2022. Tomatoes led the export trail that has risen year-on-year since 2018 to account for 9% of all veggies shipped to the Central European country.
The tomato volume to Poland is small, however, in comparison to Morocco’s dispatches to its traditional EU markets, especially Spain. In 2022, Spain received 45% of its total tomato imports from Morocco alone. Spain was also the fourth biggest importer of Morocco’s tomatoes at $84.82 million, after the Netherlands, the UK and France.
Poland was the 13th biggest importer of Moroccan tomatoes in 2022, with a value of $2.68 million. This represented 9% of all vegetable imports of Moroccan origin.
Neighbors follow suit
Poland is not alone at expanding the reach of the paste-making red fruit. Representing 97% of all vegetable imports from Morocco in 2022, North African tomatoes are proving a hit in neighboring Norway. They have now earned Rabat a place as the 20th biggest vegetable exporter to Norway.
Following the lead are Belgium and the Czech Republic. At 2.5 million, the Czech Republic imported 35 times more vegetables from Morocco in 2022 than it had done in 2018. This virtually earned Morocco the 18th biggest vegetable exporting spot to the Western European country.
Poland eyeing Morocco’s subsidized grain market
Morocco, a major bread consumer depends on subsidized imports to meet its grain demand at home. This is despite the fact that the total grain area in the North African nation is 71% of all agricultural land and produces a quarter of all local food products.
With wheat production three times lower than that of Poland, Morocco imports substantially from its European trade ally. Poland exported 500,000 tonnes of wheat to Morocco in 2021, basking on the no-duty agreement of 2020.
Global wheat prices shot up to the highest levels of 600 EUR ($658.42) a ton in 2021. Thanks to its subsidy system, Morocco’s government met nearly half the cost for importers, thus enabling large shipments from Poland and other countries.
Fixed -rate wheat import subsidies also allow the locals to enjoy bread for just MAD 1.20 ($0.12).
Even as the country looks partly on Poland to meet its wheat demand, it anticipates the return of its tomato season. The season starts in November and ends May. This is especially significant given that in 2022, Morocco overtook Spain to become the number three biggest tomato exporter in the world.