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EU organic import volume went up 2.8% in 2021

A recent report by the European Commission maintains that organic imports will increase by 2.8% in 2021. Total imports of organic agri-food products into the EU have increased from 2.79 million tons in 2020 to 2.87 million (+2.8%) in 2021.

However, data on UK imports is not available for 2020 as it was a de facto EU member state during the transition period following its departure from the EU on 31 January 2020. EU imports of organic products decreased in 2021, excluding imports from the UK. 1% compared to 2020, 2.76 million tons.

The European Union remains a major importer of organic agri-food products, essentially products that have undergone no or little change. The main imports, in terms of volume, are highly standardized products that are traded in bulk, such as grains, cocoa beans, and coffee (commodities), as well as fruits and vegetables, and meat (other primary products). Commodities and other primary products each accounted for 44% of total organic imports.

However, in volume terms, imports of the commodity declined 5.3% to 1.27 million tons, mainly due to oil cakes from China, wheat from Ukraine, and a short supply of sugar from Brazil and India. On the other hand, imports of other primary products, in volume terms, increased by 5.7%, to 1.25 million tons, mainly due to increased demand for tropical fruits and especially bananas.

Imports of tropical fruits – the largest group of products – increased 7.0% to 903,000 tons, of which banana imports increased 6.2% to 721,000 tons.

Imports from Ireland were significantly higher than the previous year (84,000 tons compared to 62,000 tons), and the increase is explained by 51,000 tons from the United Kingdom.


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