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EU agri-food exports remain stable

The year on year performance of EU agri-food exports remains remarkably stable with the September 2017 - August 2018 period representing a 0.1% change on the previous 12 months. This was due to a slight decline during August 2018 with exports dropping to €11.3 billion (a decrease of 2%), with imports also falling slightly to €9.1 billion (a drop of 0.6%). These are the main findings from the latest monthly trade report published by the European Commission.

The highest increases in monthly export values (August 2018 compared to August 2017) were recorded for Algeria (up €31 million), Saudi Arabia (an increase of €30 million) and Singapore (a gain of €27 million). In contrast, exports to China fell by the largest amount (€79 million). There were also drops in exports to both Turkey and Iran which decreased by €37 million and €34 million respectively.

Exports of cereals other than wheat and rice have experienced a significant rise (of €51 million) with sugar (up €34 million) and pasta and bread (a rise of €32 million) also performing strongly. However, milk powder has experienced a notable fall in value terms (€78 million). Vegetables and wheat have also experienced a significant decrease, down €62 million and €47 million respectively.

Continuing the recent trend, imports from the USA have sustained their increase by €186 million when compared to the figure from the previous August. South African and Russian imports also performed strongly, increasing by €57 million and €56 million. Despite this, there were significant decreases in exports from the Ivory Coast (down €109 million), Argentina (minus €64 million) and Paraguay (dropping by €58 million).

By sector, significant increases were recorded in import values of soya beans (up €101 million) and wheat (a gain of €38 million), while imports of other cereals and sugar decreased.

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