Agriculture: notable growth in EU agri-food trade continues

The latest EU agri-food trade figures published today show that the total value of EU agri-food trade (exports plus imports) for January-September 2021 amounts to €239.5 billion, a 6.1% increase compared to the corresponding period last year. Exports were 8% higher at €145.2 billion, with imports increasing by 3.5% to reach €94.2 billion. This reflects an overall agri-food trade surplus of €51 billion for the first nine months of the year, an increase of 17% compared to the same period in 2020. The largest increase in exports were those to the United States, with an increase of 15%. This was primarily driven by wine, spirits and liqueurs, and chocolate and confectionary. Exports to South Korea also surged, due to strong performances from wine, pig meat, wheat and meslin, as well as exports to Switzerland. For the first time in 2021, agri-food exports to the United Kingdom have surpassed their value for the corresponding period in 2020 and grew by €166 million. In contrast, significant decreases were reported in the value of exports to Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong and Kuwait. When it comes to agri-food imports, the largest increase was seen in products from Brazil, which grew by €1.4 billion or 16% compared to the same period in 2020. Imports from Indonesia, Argentina, Australia and India also increased. Sizeable decreases were reported in imports from several countries, the most notable of which was a €2.9 billion or 27% fall in the value of those from the United Kingdom, followed by the United States, Canada, New Zealand and Moldova. In terms of product categories, the January-September period saw large growth in the export values of wine, spirits and liqueurs. Other significant export value increases were seen in rapeseed and sunflower oils, and chocolate and confectionary. There were, however, substantial falls in exports of infant food and wheat. More information on the latest EU agri-food trade figures is available here and on EU agri-food trade in general here.