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Agriculture: Steady increase in EU agri-food trade

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The latest EU agri-food trade figures published show that trade continues to increase steadily, with exports increasing by 7% compared to the first eight months of 2020. The total value of EU agri-food trade (exports plus imports) for January-August 2021 reached a value of €210.5 billion, reflecting a 5.1% increase on the same period last year. Exports rose by 7% to €127.5bn, while imports grew by 2.3% to €85bn, giving a total agri-food trade surplus of €44bn for the first eight months of the year. This is an increase of 17% compared to the corresponding period in 2020. Positive figures were reported in exports to the United States, which grew by €2bn or 15%, largely driven by strong performances from wine, and spirit and liqueurs.

Additionally, exports to China rose by €812 million, while increases in values were also reported in exports to Switzerland (up €531m), South Korea (up €464m), Norway (up €393m) and Israel (up €288m). Exports to the United Kingdom during this period (€116 million) were nearly at the same value as they were last year. Exports to a number of countries declined compared the same period in 2020. The largest decline was seen in exports to Saudi Arabia, which fell by €399m or 16%. Other notable decreases were reported in exports to Hong Kong (down €103 million) and Kuwait (down €101m). Regarding specific product categories, the first eight months of 2021 saw major increases in the export values of wine (up €2.5bn) and spirits and liqueurs (up €1.3bn), representing increases of 31% and 32% respectively. Decreases were reported for exports of wheat (down €892m) and infant food (down €736m). The most notable increases in the value of imports were seen in oilcakes (up €1.1bn), soya beans (up €1.1bn), fatty acids and waxes (up €500m), palm and kernel oil (up €479m), and cocoa beans (up €291m).

The highest decreases in import values, on the other hand, were seen in tropical fruit, nuts and spices (down €669m), fruit juices (down €194m), citrus fruits (down €159m), raw tobacco (down €158m), and rice (down €140m). More information is available here and on EU agri-food trade here.

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