FOREIGN TRADE OF FRUITS AND VEGETABLES

Spain not only leads with Italy the production of fruit and vegetables in the European Union but is also one of the largest exporters in the world. With some exports around 12 million tonnes, about 4.3 billion euros (about 5 million tonnes) of vegetables where stands out the tomato, which accounts for almost 1 billion euros. The rest, about 7 million tons are distributed among different types of robberies; Citrus, stone and pome fruit and even tropical fruits. Fruit production is very varied thanks to the diversity of climates and producing areas. The value of fruit produced in Spain in 2014 amounted to 6,907.2 million euros at basic prices making Spain the first fruit producer in the EU. In 2014, Spanish production accounted for 30% of the total Community, while that of Italy was 21% and that of France 12%.
In 2014, Andalusia was the main autonomous community in horticultural exports with 3,583 million euros, followed by the Valencian Community with 3,205 million euros and Murcia with 2,175 million euros. Also worth mentioning are Catalonia with 725 million euros, Extremadura with 170.8 million euros, Aragon with 124.9 million euros, Castilla-La Mancha with 88 million euros, Canary Islands, with 60.5 million euros Castilla y León with 31.7 million euros and La Rioja with 3.4 million euros.
Approximately 91% of all fruits and vegetables exported by Spain in 2014 went to the European Union. The value of these EU exports is around € 10 billion. As for third countries, in 2014, sales fell to Russia (31%) as a result of the veto imposed by this country on several European productions. Sales to countries such as Norway also fell that year, while exports to Brazil, Canada and other neighboring countries such as Algeria increased.
With respect to Spanish imports of fruit and vegetables, in 2014 these grew in volume by 5% and in value by 3.6%, totaling 2.4 million tonnes and 1,697 million euros. The highest growth occurred in the fruit group: 9.3% more in volume and 8.6% more in value, totaling 1.3 million tons and 1,171 millions of euros. By products, banana, apple and kiwi were in 2014 the first three imported fruits.
The vegetables registered a stabilization in the imported volume, with 1.1 million tonnes (+ 0.7%) and a fall of 6% to a total of 526 million euros, due to the decline of the main vegetable imported by Spain: the Potato, with 152 million euros (-36.6%). The main fruits and vegetables imported by Spain in 2014 were potato and apple, with strong growth in value in both cases. The value of potato imports in 2013 grew by 45% to € 233 million and although in volume there was a 4% decline to 668,702 tonnes.
The EU was Spain’s main supplier, in terms of imported quantities, with 1.4 million tonnes. Within the EU the main suppliers were France with 28% the total imported by Spain, followed by the Netherlands with 8%, Portugal with 7.5% and Italy with 6%. Among the main non-EU supplier countries were Morocco, Brazil, Argentina and Costa Rica.

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Montse Gonzalez