MOROCCO – The Moroccan government has approved a decree banning shipments of olive oil to regulate the selling prices of the commodity which are soaring on the domestic market.

Mohamed Sadiki, the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries, and Rural Development, made the position official by approving the decree banning the export of olive oil to supply its domestic market.

However, sources have it that the decision is awaiting the signature of the Minister of Trade and Industry, Riad Mazour before it is published in the Official Gazette to enter into force.

Oil products with high added value and canned table olives prepared for export will be excluded. 

This decision has to do with the sharp rise in the price of olive oil, which has reached almost 10 euros per liter.

According to industry players, this situation is attributable to the persistence of the drought, affecting olive production, which is one of the main factors behind this price surge.

The Moroccan government, keen to protect the purchasing power of citizens, has taken this measure to guarantee stable supplies to the domestic market.

Morocco is a key player in olive oil production. In North Africa and the Middle East, it occupies second place, just after Tunisia. In the world ranking, it is positioned ninth with a harvest of more than 217 million liters in 2022.

Speaking on the subject, Rachid Benali, president of the Moroccan Olive Interprofessional, indicated that the new executive measure responds to the demands of professionals in the sector, essentially with the aim of “protecting the power of purchase by Moroccan consumers.

This comes at a time when the Moroccan government has continued to support the sector with various initiatives.

Recently, the government and the Moroccan Interprofessional Olive Oil Federation (Interprolive) reached an agreement to improve the productivity of the olive oil sector with an investment of 16.9 billion dirhams by 2030.

This plan aims to reach an area of 1.4 million hectares of olive groves, compared to the current 1.2 million hectares, with the rehabilitation of up to 100,000 hectares of production areas.

In addition, the project would lead to production of up to 3.5 million tonnes, compared to the current 1.7 million tonnes.

In 2022, the country exported more than 13,200 tonnes of olive oil to the international market worth more than 456 million dirhams ($44.2 million) according to data from the Ministry of Agriculture. ‘Agriculture.