Morocco continued to consolidate its position in the fresh blueberry market in Southeast Asia in 2023, reports EastFruit. Moroccan blueberry exporters not only broke their previous record of shipments to this region, but also expanded the number of countries that import their berries.
From January to November 2023, Morocco delivered 1.4 thousand tons of fresh blueberries to Southeast Asia (excluding Vietnam), which is almost 50% more than the whole of 2022. Since the peak season of Moroccan blueberry exports to this region usually begins in December, the final outcome of 2023 is expected to be even more impressive.
The main destinations for Moroccan blueberries in the region were Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia, which together accounted for about 96% of the total supplies from Morocco in the first eleven months of 2023. Meanwhile, Moroccan exports also increased to other markets. For example, shipments to Thailand almost tripled to 30 tons, and to Macau rose from 26 to 29 tons. Furthermore, Morocco entered the Indonesian market for the first time with its blueberries, sending a trial batch of 720 kg.
It is worth noting that Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia are the major importers of blueberries in Southeast Asia. The import volume by all countries in the region reached 30 thousand tons by 2021-2022, but in 2023 it dropped significantly due to the slump of supplies from Peru and Chile.
On the other hand, other exporters managed to increase their market share in the region. In addition to Morocco, exports to Southeast Asia at least doubled from Australia in 2023, surpassing 1 thousand tons. Zimbabwe, the global leader in the growth rate of blueberry exports, also boosted its shipments: in 2023 their volume increased by at least 74% to 1.5 thousand tons, which was even higher than that of Morocco! China, which is reportedly the world leader in the area under blueberries, also increased its exports to Southeast Asia by almost 300% in the same period. However, the volumes of Chinese exports were still relatively low: 650 tons for January-November 2023.
Southeast Asia is one of the fastest growing regions in the world in terms of increasing imports of fresh berries. This is driven by both the rising incomes of the middle class in many countries in the region, and the large number of tourists and expats, who bring their consumption habits to the local market. Further growth of consumption of fresh berries in Southeast Asia will also be supported by the high rates of development of the local economy, which in 2023-2024, according to the IMF, will only be lower than those of India and China!
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