The European Union's imports of Moroccan tomatoes have increased 26 per cent since 2016, according to new data from Eurostat, reported by Fepex.
During the same five-year period, the EU's imports of the fruit from leading players like the Netherlands and Spain has actually dropped, down 5 per cent and 20 per cent respectively.
Tomato exports from the Netherlands to the EU stood at 844,022 tonnes in 2016, while in 2020 they came in at 803,278 tonnes. Exports from Spain have fallen from 763,844 tonnes to 613,053 tonnes.
By contrast, EU imports of Moroccan tomatoes have grown from 344,094 tonnes to 435,041 tonnes, Eurostat noted.
'The data reflects the decline that Spanish tomato sales are experiencing in the EU, its main destination, largely due to competition from Morocco, whose presence is growing in the EU market,' Fepex said.
'But they also show, according to Fepex, that such competition also affects other producing countries such as the Netherlands, which is why a trade policy that supports community preference is becoming increasingly urgent.'
Other notable EU tomato suppliers include Belgium, which exported 195,718 tonnes to the bloc in 2020, France with 193,536 tonnes, and Turkey, with 125,622 tonnes.