A country located on Africa’s northwestern coast, the Kingdom of Morocco shipped US$29.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2018. That dollar amount reflects a 23.2% increase since 2014 and a 14.5% uptick from 2017 to 2018.
The latest data shows that 71% of products exported from Morocco were bought by importers in: Spain (23.6% of the global total), France (21.8%), United States (4.7%), Italy (4.3%), India (3.7%), Germany (3.2%), United Kingdom (2.8%), Brazil (2.6%), Netherlands (2.3%) and Turkey (2%).
From a continental perspective, over two-thirds (68.2%) of Moroccan exports by value were delivered to European countries while 12.3% were sold to importers in Asia. Morocco shipped smaller percentages to buyers in Africa (7.8%), North America (6.5%), Latin America (3.5%) excluding Mexico and the Caribbean, then Oceania (0.2%) led by New Zealand and Australia.
Given Morocco’s population of 34.3 million people, its total $29.3 billion in 2018 exports translates to roughly $900 for every resident in the northwestern African country.
In macroeconomic terms, Morocco’s total exported goods represent 9.3% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2018 ($314.6 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 9.3% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2018 compares to 11.3% for 2014, seeming to indicate a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Morocco’s total economic performance. And while this article focuses on exported goods, it is interesting to note that Morocco also provided $18.5 billion worth of exports-related services to global customers for an additional 5.9% of GDP in PPP.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Morocco’s unemployment rate was 10% at March 2019 down from 10.5% one year earlier, per Trading Economics.
Morocco’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Moroccan global shipments during 2018. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Morocco.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$4.9 billion (16.8% of total exports)
- Vehicles: $3.9 billion (13.2%)
- Fertilizers: $3.2 billion (10.8%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.5 billion (8.6%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $1.5 billion (5.1%)
- Fish: $1.4 billion (4.6%)
- Vegetables: $1.3 billion (4.3%)
- Fruits, nuts: $1.2 billion (4%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $1.1 billion (3.8%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $830.9 million (2.8%)
Morocco’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (74.2%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Inorganic chemicals was the fastest-growing among the top Moroccan export categories, thanks to its 31.8% acceleration from 2017 to 2018.
In second place for improving export sales was fruits and nuts which appreciated by 28.8%.
Moroccan fertilizers posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 22.4%.
The most modest increase was 3.6% year over year for the salt, sulphur, stone and cement category.
At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, Morocco’s most valuable export products are cars (12.2% of total), insulated wire or cable (11.3%), fertilizer mixes (9.6%), phosphoric or polyphosphoric acids (5%) and women’s clothing (4.1%).
The following types of Moroccan product shipments represent positive net exports or a trade balance surplus. Investopedia defines net exports as the value of a country’s total exports minus the value of its total imports.
In a nutshell, net exports represent the amount by which foreign spending on a home country’s goods or services exceeds or lags the home country’s spending on foreign goods or services.
- Fertilizers: US$2.9 billion (Up by 23.2% since 2017)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.3 billion (Up by 5.8%)
- Fish: $1.1 billion (Up by 0.1%)
- Vegetables: $1.1 billion (Up by 14.7%)
- Fruits, nuts: $863.8 million (Up by 22.7%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $764.1 million (Up by 98.3%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $758.5 million (Up by 11.1%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $617.1 million (Up by 6.3%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $250.2 million (Down by -28.8%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $207.4 million (Down by -58.5%)
Morocco has highly positive net exports in the international trade of fertilizers. In turn, these cashflows indicate Morocco’s strong competitive advantages under the fertilizers product category.
Overall Morocco incurred a -$21.9 billion product trade deficit for 2018, expanding by 12.6% from -$19.5 billion in red ink one year earlier.
Below are exports from Morocco that result in negative net exports or product trade balance deficits. These negative net exports reveal product categories where foreign spending on home country Morocco’s goods trail Moroccan importer spending on foreign products.
- Mineral fuels including oil: -US$8.4 billion (Up by 21.1% since 2017)
- Machinery including computers: -$4.8 billion (Up by 8.8%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$1.9 billion (Up by 11.9%)
- Cereals: -$1.6 billion (Up by 11.4%)
- Vehicles: -$1.3 billion (Up by 5.2%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.2 billion (Up by 5.1%)
- Miscellaneous manufactured articles: -$915.5 million (Up by 36.8%)
- Manmade staple fibers: -$770.9 million (Up by 9.7%)
- Paper, paper items: -$684.9 million (Up by 15.4%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$681.5 million (Down by -6.4%)
Morocco has highly negative net exports and therefore deep international trade deficits under the mineral fuels including oil category notably for refined petroleum oils, petroleum gas, coal then petroleum coke including other residues from petroleum oil.
Moroccan Export Companies
Three Moroccan regional banks rank among Forbes Global 2000, namely:
- Attijariwafa Bank
- Banque Centrale Populaire
- BMCE Bank
Wikipedia lists some exports-related companies headquartered in Morocco. Selected examples are shown below:
- Akwa Group (oil, gas)
- Compagnie Marocaine de Navigation (shipping)
- Laraki (automobiles)
- Les Domaines Agricoles (agribusiness)
- Med Airlines (cargo airliner)
- Nareva (oil, gas)
- Office Chérifien des Phosphates (phosphate)
- Société Automobiles Ménara (automobiles)
- Somaca (automobiles)
- Sonasid (steel)
Morocco’s capital city is Rabat.
See also South Sudan’s Top 10 Exports, Somalia’s Top 10 Exports and Top African Export Countries
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Morocco. Accessed on April 3, 2019
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 3, 2019
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on June 29, 2019
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 3, 2019
The World Factbook, Africa: Morocco. Accessed on April 3, 2019
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on June 29, 2019
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on June 29, 2019
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Morocco. Accessed on April 3, 2019
Wikipedia, Morocco. Accessed on April 3, 2019
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on June 29, 2019
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Rabat, Morocco. Accessed on April 3, 2019