First semester

3% growth of EU horticultural exports to third countries

In the first half of 2018, Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports to the EU were worth 7,024 million Euro, 1% less than in the same period of the previous year. Meanwhile, the value of shipments to non-EU destinations grew by 3%, reaching 479 million Euro. In this group, non-EU European countries recorded strong growth, especially Norway, while the value of shipments outside Europe stabilised and stood at 247 million Euro, according to data from the Department of Customs and Special Taxes.

The slight decline recorded by Spanish fruit and vegetable sales to the EU has been especially due to the 1% drop recorded in the Netherlands, with shipments worth 637.6 million Euro, and Italy, with 429.7 million Euro (-7%). Shipments to Germany and France, the first and second largest destinations for Spanish exports, grew by 1% and 3%, respectively, totalling 1,983 million Euro and 1,278 million Euro. Exports to the United Kingdom, the third most important destination, grew by 1% in terms of value, totalling 1,067 million Euro.

Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports to third countries, which represented 6.3% of the total, were worth 479 million Euro; 3% more than last year. This growth was mainly achieved in non-EU European countries, where an additional 7% was exported, totalling 232 million Euro. The value of shipments to Norway grew by 60%, reaching 63.7 million Euro.

Outside Europe, the value of exports stood at 247 million Euro, which is 3.2% of the total; the same figure as in the first half of 2017. Canada stood out the most in this group, with 41.4 million Euro; 64% more, as well as China, with 27.9 million Euro (+35%).

In terms of volume, fruit and vegetable exports to the EU in the first half of 2018 stood at 6.3 million tonnes, while exports to third countries amounted to 407,623 tonnes. Of these, 167,338 tonnes corresponded to non-European European countries and the other 240,290 tonnes to other countries.

For FEPEX, the reduced volume and value of fruit and vegetable exports outside Europe is due to multiple and diverse causes, especially phytosanitary barriers, as well as logistics, financial and commercial issues. The promotion of trade negotiations to prevent phytosanitary protocols from becoming an obstacle to trade is therefore considered a priority.

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