Strong performance from EU agri-food sector as exports rise

The value of EU agri-food exports in March 2019 was 7% higher at €12.6 billion than the same month last year, whilst imports reached €10.1 billion. In total, the EU agri- food surplus for March stood at €2.5 billion, an increase of 34%.  These are the main findings of the latest monthly trade report published by the European Commission.

The highest increases in monthly export values (March 2019 compared to March 2018) were recorded for China (up €125 million), the USA (an increase of €119 million) and Egypt (rising by €103 million), while there was significant drops in exports to Saudi Arabia (down by €96 million) and Korea (a decrease of €24 million).

In terms of imports, there was a substantial increase from the USA, up by €138 million when compared to March 2018. There was also a significant rise from Ukraine (an increase of €87 million) and Ghana (rising by €48 million). There were drops however in the value of imports from Argentina (decreasing by €72 million), Canada (down by €53 million) and New Zealand (dropping €39 million).

In terms of sector, export values shifted significantly this month, with notable increases in exports of wheat (a rise of €307 million), spirits and liqueurs (up by €88 million), cotton flax and hemp (up €72 million) and pork meat, fresh chilled or frozen (rising by €49 million). There were notable falls in exports of beet and cane sugar (a decrease of €52 million) and raw hides and skins (down €43 million).

There were significant increases in the import values of soybeans (up by €73 million), cereals (rising by €68 million), and cocoa beans (an increase of €66 million). By contrast, imports of tropical fruit fresh or dried (a fall of €71 million), sheep and goat meat (decreasing by €55 million) and citrus fruit (down by €50 million) decreased the most in value terms.