Farm Ireland

Tuesday 20 November 2018

Value of EU food imports up 18% since 2012

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FarmIreland Team

FarmIreland Team

In 2016, the European Union (EU) imported almost 93m tonnes of food from outside the EU, worth a total of €101bn.

Compared to 2012, food imports have increased by 6pc in terms of volume and by 18pc in terms of value, according to newly released Eurostat figures.

On the other hand, in 2016 the EU exported 91m tonnes of food outside of its borders. These exports were worth €84bn. Compared with five years ago, this is an increase of 42pc in volume and 20pc in value.

The Netherlands, largest food exporter in terms of value to countries outside the EU

Last year, the Netherlands exported €13bn of food outside the EU. This represents 16pc of total extra-EU food exports, making the Netherlands the largest exporter of food to non-EU countries among all Member States.

The Netherlands was ahead of Germany and France (€11bn each, 11pc), followed by Italy and Spain (around €8bn each, 9pc).

The United States was the main destination for these exports. The EU Member States sent €8bn of food to the United States in 2016 (10pc of total extra-EU exports of food in value). Other major destinations were China (€7.5bn, 9pc), Switzerland (€5.6bn, 7pc), Japan and Saudi Arabia (€3.8bn each, 4pc).

Imports of food into the EU from countries located outside the EU came mainly from Brazil (€9bn, or 9pc of total extra-EU food imports), the United States (€7bn, 7pc) and Norway (€6.8bn, 7pc), followed by Argentina (€5.4bn, 5pc), China (€4.8bn, 5pc) and Turkey (€4.5bn, 4pc).

Also Read

Cereals top product exported from the EU; fruit and vegetables top products imported

When looking at specific food groups, the EU exported over €14bn of cereals such as wheat, spelt, barley and oats in 2016, accounting for almost one fifth of the total extra-EU food exports (17pc) in value. The next largest group was made up of vegetables and fruit (€12bn, 14pc), meat (€11bn, 13pc) as well as dairy products and eggs (€10bn, 12pc).

The EU Member States imported mainly fruit and vegetables (almost €30bn, or 30pc of total extra-EU food imports), fish (€24bn, 24pc) and coffee, tea, cocoa and spices (€19bn, 19pc) from third countries.

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