Morocco’s car exports outpaces Phosphate

During the first quarter of this year, Morocco’s automotive sector saw an increase in sales abroad across all segments, reclaiming its position as the country’s top exporting sector from phosphate sales which held the top spot last year. The automotive industry in Morocco comprises of two large plants run by Stellantis and Renault, as well as a well-established automotive ecosystem exporting various components.

The sector’s exports totaled $3.4 billion, a 45% increase from the same period last year. The automotive industry has been the country’s top export sector for the past eight years, only being surpassed by phosphate sales last year due to high prices.

Renault produces 400,000 vehicles annually with a 65% integration rate, while Stellantis produces 200,000 with a 70% local sourcing rate, placing Morocco as the 20th largest car producer globally.

However, the value of phosphate and derivative exports, including fertilizers, decreased to $1.8 billion from $2.4 billion during the same period last year, as international market prices dropped. Additionally, the trade deficit widened by 13.5% to $7.26 billion as imports outpaced exports. The surge in the energy bill, which rose by 15.7% to $2.83 billion, contributed to the deficit.

Nevertheless, the deficit was partially offset by a recovery in tourism receipts, which more than doubled to $2.5 billion, indicating a positive outlook for a sector that was heavily impacted by the pandemic.

The tourism minister expects tourism revenue to exceed $10 billion this year, with the launch of a promotional campaign, the re-establishment of air routes, and the diversification of attractions to attract more visitors.

Meanwhile, remittances from Moroccans living abroad rose by 16% to $2.7 billion, up until March.