A country located on Africa’s northwestern coast, the Kingdom of Morocco shipped US$29.3 billion worth of goods around the globe in 2019. That dollar amount reflects a 32.2% increase since 2015 and a 0.1% uptick from 2018 to 2019.
Based on the average exchange rate for 2019, the Moroccan dirham appreciated by 1.5% against the US dollar since 2015 but declined by -2.5% from 2018 to 2019. Morocco’s weaker local currency since 2018 makes its exports paid for in stronger US dollars relatively less expensive for international buyers during 2019.
The latest available country-specific data shows that 73.8% of products exported from Morocco were bought by importers in: Spain (24.1% of the global total), France (21.6%), Italy (4.7%), United States (4%), Germany (3.2%), Brazil (2.9%), India (also 2.9%), Netherlands (2.7%), United Kingdom (2.5%), Turkey (2.2%), Belgium (1.6%) and Portugal (1.5%).
From a continental perspective, 70.3% of Morocco’s exports by value were delivered to European countries while 12.2% were sold to importers in Asia. Morocco shipped another 7.8% worth of goods to Africa. Smaller percentages went to North America (5.6%), Latin America excluding Mexico but including the Caribbean (3.9%) and Oceania led by Australia (0.1%).
Given Morocco’s population of 35.6 million people, its total $29.3 billion in 2019 exports translates to roughly $850 for every resident in the northwest African country.
Morocco’s Top 10 Exports
The following export product groups represent the highest dollar value in Moroccan global shipments during 2019. Also shown is the percentage share each export category represents in terms of overall exports from Morocco.
- Electrical machinery, equipment: US$5.3 billion (18.1% of total exports)
- Vehicles: $3.8 billion (13%)
- Fertilizers: $2.9 billion (9.9%)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.4 billion (8.3%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $1.43 billion (4.9%)
- Vegetables: $1.35 billion (4.6%)
- Fruits, nuts: $1.3 billion (4.6%)
- Fish: $1.2 billion (4.1%)
- Salt, sulphur, stone, cement: $1 billion (3.4%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: $863.7 million (2.9%)
Morocco’s top 10 exports accounted for about three-quarters (73.9%) of the overall value of its global shipments.
Fruits and nuts represent the fastest grower among the top Moroccan export categories, thanks to its 14.4% acceleration from 2018 to 2019. In second place for improving export sales was aircraft and spacecraft which appreciated by 8.3%. Moroccan electrical machinery and equipment posted the third-fastest gain in value up by 7.6%.
The severest decrease was a -10.8% drop year over year for the fish category.
At the more detailed four-digit Harmonized Tariff System (HTS) code level, in 2019 Morocco’s most valuable exported products were insulated wire or cable (12.1% of the global total); cars (11.7%); fertilizer mixes (8.7%); phosphoric and polyphosphoric acids (4.8%); unknitted and non-crocheted women’s clothing (4%); aircraft parts (2.7%); fresh or chilled tomatoes (2.6%); natural calcium or aluminum phosphates (also 2.6%); moluscs (2.5%) then fish including caviar (also 2.5%).
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$2.6 billion (Down by -7.3% since 2018)
- Clothing, accessories (not knit or crochet): $2.2 billion (Down by -5.2%)
- Vegetables: $1.2 billion (Up by 13%)
- Fruits, nuts: $1 billion (Up by 17.6%)
- Fish: $999.2 million (Down by -12.6%)
- Meat/seafood preparations: $781.2 million (Up by 2.8%)
- Inorganic chemicals: $741 million (Down by -3.5%)
- Knit or crochet clothing, accessories: $545.8 million (Down by -11.5%)
- Electrical machinery, equipment: $376 million (Up by 1183.9%)
- Ores, slag, ash: $227.2 million (Down by -9.3%)
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 -$21.8 billion product trade deficit for 2019, dipping -0.8% from -$21.9 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-$7.5 billion (Down by -10.8% since 2018)
- Machinery including computers: -$5.2 billion (Up by 8.3%)
- Plastics, plastic articles: -$2 billion (Up by 3.5%)
- Cereals: -$1.6 billion (Up by 4.1%)
- Iron, steel: -$1.4 billion (Up by 20.8%)
- Vehicles: -$1.3 billion (Up by 2.7%)
- Aircraft, spacecraft: -$819.2 million (Up by 52.9%)
- Manmade staple fibers: -$776.4 million (Up by 0.8%)
- Articles of iron or steel: -$758.4 million (Up by 11.3%)
- Paper, paper items: -$650.3 million (Down by -5.1%)
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)
In macroeconomic terms, Morocco’s total exported goods represent 8.9% of its overall Gross Domestic Product for 2019 ($328.7 billion valued in Purchasing Power Parity US dollars). That 8.9% for exports to overall GDP in PPP for 2019 compares to 9.3% for 2018. This suggests a relatively decreasing reliance on products sold on international markets for Morocco’s total economic performance albeit based on a short timeframe.
Another key indicator of a country’s economic performance is its unemployment rate. Morocco’s average unemployment rate was 9.23% for 2019 down from 9.8% one year earlier, per the International Monetary Fund.
Morocco’s capital city is Rabat.
See also South Sudan’s Top 10 Exports, Somalia’s Top 10 Exports and Top African Export Countries
Central Intelligence Agency, Africa: Morocco. Accessed on April 18, 2020
FlagPictures.org, Flag of Morocco. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Forbes Global 2000 rankings, The World’s Biggest Public Companies. Accessed on April 18, 2020
International Monetary Fund, Exchange Rates selected indicators (National Currency per U.S. dollar, period average). Accessed on April 18, 2020
International Monetary Fund, World Economic Outlook Database (GDP based on Purchasing Power Parity). Accessed on April 18, 2020
Investopedia, Net Exports Definition. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Trade Map, International Trade Centre. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Wikipedia, Gross domestic product. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Wikipedia, List of Companies of Morocco. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Wikipedia, Morocco. Accessed on April 18, 2020
Wikipedia, Purchasing power parity. Accessed on April 18, 2020
World’s Capital Cities, Capital Facts for Rabat, Morocco. Accessed on April 18, 2020