A good news when we look back into 2019 which proved to be a record year for EU agri-food trade. The export value of agri-food products came to a total of €151.2 billion (rising by 10% from December 2018), while imports accounted for (an increase of 2.5% compared to 2018), bringing the overall value of trade for the year to €270.5 billion. The trade surplus grew by €10.9 billion from 2018 (an increase of 52%) to reach an all-time high of €31.9 billion.
These findings along with other significant trends and developments for 2019 could be found in the EU agri-food trade report for 2019, published at the end of March. You can download the full report here.
The major destinations for EU agri-food products in 2019 were the USA (who received €24.3 billion worth of agri-food exports), China (€15.3 billion), Switzerland (€8.5 billion), Japan (€7.6 billion) and Russia (€7.2 billion). Together, these five countries received over 40% of the EU’s agri-food exports.
In 2019, the EU expanded its market for agri-food products in China (where the value of exports grew by €4.2 billion), the USA (a rise of €2.07 billion) and Japan (up €1.01 billion). There was, however, a fall in the value of exports to Hong Kong (a drop of €400 million), Libya (a decline of €170 million), and Algeria (down €120 million). Five countries provided 35% of the EU’s agri-food imports in 2019: the USA (€11.8 billion worth of imports), Brazil (€11.6 billion), Ukraine (€7.4 billion), China (€6.1 billion), and Argentina (€5 billion).
In terms of products, 2019 saw a rise in the export values of several products, most notably pork meat (which rose by €2.36 billion), wheat (up €1.75 billion), and spirits and liqueurs (an increase of €1.13 billion). The biggest drops in export values were recorded for beet and cane sugars (down by €523 million), olive oil (a decline of €125 million), and raw hides and skins (a decrease of €114 million).
A number of products experienced a rise in their import values over the course of 2019. The highest increases were for tropical fruit (which grew by €752 million), oilseeds (other than soyabeans) (up by €747 million), and vegetable oils (other than palm and olive oil) (up €660 million). However, import values declined for palm and palm kernel oil (a fall of €612 million), citrus fruit (down €282 million), and olive oil (a decrease of €215 million).