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Per an IMF analysis from late last month, Morocco’s economic outlook will improve in 2010, while still “remain[ing] dependent on external developments” such as potential Euro-zone growth–Morocco’s principal trading partner. The country’s GDP, which was rising at about a 5% clip pre-crisis, should grow by roughly 4% next year on the back of internal demand, and specifically in agriculture, the largest component of the domestic workforce. Moreover, exports should be boosted by the phosphate rock mining and processing industry, which accounts for almost one-third of the nation’s exports and whose YOY exports dived by over one-half over the first half of 2009. On that front, earlier this week, Bohdan Danylyshyn, head of the Ukrainian Economy Ministry, suggested a partnership of sorts between the two, stating that his country was “interested in geological exploration, the modernization of equipment for phosphate deposit development, and importing phosphates from Morocco,” while also noting that “Ukrainian companies would like to participate in the reconstruction of various types of industrial facilities on the territory of Morocco.”
Morocco is the third-biggest phosphate producer in the world after China and the U.S., with 28 million tons of output a year. It is the largest phosphate exporter, with a 31.6% market share. And although production is controlled by a state-owned OCP–which earlier this year announced that it expected to increase its phosphate output to 45-55 million tons by 2020 on the back of its planned investment–the industry’s growth for Morocco may in practice translate over to other domestic industries, where demand is driven by domestic wealth measures such as property and construction that are themselves a function of the health of domestic exports. The demand for cement is expected to grow going forward on the back of a young demographic, state-backed social housing projects and a resumption in commercial real estate projects.