Morocco’s state-run phosphates company Office Chérifien de Phosphate (OCP), the world’s leading phosphate exporter, recorded a 52.8 percent fall in full-year net profit in 2016, with its revenues reaching 42.47 billion dirhams compared to 47.73 billion dirhams in 2015. The OCP’s financial performance suffered from low phosphate and fertilizer prices, prompting efforts to boost output and cut costs to reverse falling revenue. The world’s leading phosphates exporter is also a major foreign currency earner for Morocco that is currently pursuing an increase in fertilizer production to 12 million tons to become the world’s largest producer.
The OCP has recently signed a joint venture with Indian company Kribhco to construct a new fertilizer plant in the Indian region of Andhra Pradesh. As part of Morocco’s fresh foreign policy moves in Africa, the OCP has also signed an agreement with Ethiopia to build a $3.7 fertilizer plant. A similar deal was struck with Nigeria as the factory seeks to promote the use of agricultural inputs including access to adequate crop nutrients, which is expected to improve agricultural productivity and farmers’ incomes.
The OCP has also used the multiple royal tours in Africa to demonstrate its commitments to the development of agriculture through the funding of projects under win-win partnership with other African economies. OCP Chief Executive Mostafa Terrab was recently quoted in Morocco’s L’Economiste newspaper as saying the company’s mining capacity had “significantly progressed,” which only confirms the OCP’s official statement that “international demand remains strong as a whole, with an increase in fertilizer consumption held up by a drop in prices.”