Spanish exports of fresh fruit and vegetables reached €12.832 billion in 2018, with a year-on-year increase of 1%, with a volume of 12.5 million tonnes, a drop of 1%, according to the latest official data from the Department of Customs and Special Taxes.Vegetable exports in 2018 grew 4.4% in volume and 0.4% in value in relation to 2017, totalling 5.3 million tonnes and €5.29 billion. Those which saw the most growth were peppers, with 745,903 tonnes ( 8.6%) and €977.2 million ( 2%), cucumbers, with 648,521 tonnes ( 3.4%) and €595 million ( 5 %) and lettuce, with 795,195 tonnes ( 4.3%) and €690 million ( 4%). In 2018, fruit registered a year-on-year decrease in volume of 4.4%, totalling 7.1 million tonnes, while the value increased by 1.4%, amounting to €7.542 billion. Exports of nectarines, peaches, plums and persimmons fell, while there was strong growth in other fruits such as watermelons, eating grapes, raspberries and blueberries.
Andalusia is the biggest exporting autonomous community, with 4.1 million tonnes ( 4%) and €5.066 billion ( 3%), followed by the Valencian Community, with 3.7 million tonnes (-1%) and €3.412 billion (-1%) and Murcia with 2.5 million tonnes, the same amount as in 2017, and €2.504 billion ( 3%).
Exports to the EU represented 94% of the total, with positive growth in the top three markets: Germany, with €3.431 billion ( 3%), France with €2.3 billion ( 5%) and the United Kingdom, with €1.766 billion ( 3%). On the other hand, exports outside of Europe fell by 10% and stood at €534 million. However, exports to Canada performed well, after the Trade Agreement with the EU came into force, with a 36% increase in exports, amounting to €93.4 million.
Fresh fruit and vegetable exports continued to grow strongly, with an 8% increase in volume and a 9% increase in value compared to 2017, standing at 3.3 million tonnes and €2.757 billion, with a wide range of products, especially fruit like avocados with €237 million, kiwis with €192 million, and apples with €147 million, and vegetables like potatoes with €209 million and green beans with €175 million ( 13%).
For FEPEX, the performance of the fruit and vegetables group in 2018 reflects the importance of the EU market for the Spanish sector, continuing to account for the bulk of Spain’s exports. It also reflects that diversity is one of the main strengths of the Spanish sector, which serves to offset the strong external competition in certain products.