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Blog | 3 min read
May 17, 2023
May 17, 2023

Colombian agro-exports to Europe: An analysis of success.

Colombia’s agro-exports to Europe are an essential source of income for the national economy, contributing to job creation and GDP growth.

However, there are significant challenges to remaining competitive in this market, such as improving transportation & storage infrastructure and developing strategies for diversifying export products. 

Despite these issues, Columbia maintains a robust produce trade with Europe, and its prospects for future growth are positive. 

Main exporting markets

Colombia has recently expanded its presence in the European market, particularly in Belgium.

Belgium imported 981,961 metric tons of agri-food products from Columbia, representing 20.3% of the total agro-exports from the country. 

Belgium’s largest Colombian imports by volume are bananas, coffee, green plantains, avocados, and cocoa. Collectively, these products represent 97.4% of all Colombian exports to the country, with bananas alone representing 83.4% of this total.

Italy, the United Kingdom, Germany, and the Netherlands are also critical destinations for Colombian products, accounting for 51.3% of its total agro-exports. In these countries, the primary imports are bananas, followed by coffee, avocados, green plantains, and lemons.

Top exported products

Colombia was one of Europe’s leading agricultural suppliers in 2021. Bananas were the highest volume export, at 1,683,201 metric tons, representing 68.2% of the country’s total agro-exports.

Coffee ranked second in volume with 208,489 metric tons (8.5%), and green plantains ranked third with 92,427 metric tons (3.7%). Together, these three crops accounted for 80.4% of Colombia’s agricultural shipments to Europe.

Additionally, avocados, limes, pineapples, oranges, cocoa, and tangerines are significant Colombian exports to Europe.

In terms of value, coffee is the highest-earning agricultural product, generating $94 million in 2021 (33.8% of total agro-export value), and bananas were in second position with $76 million (27.1%).

Avocados were third, earning $22 million (8.0%), while green bananas and limes were fourth and fifth in export value at $5 and $2 million, respectively. Together, these five crops represented 70.5% of the total value of Colombian shipments to Europe.

Other crops such as cocoa, orange, mango, pineapple, and tangerine also stand out for the value of their exports, contributing to the development of the country and generating necessary foreign currency income for the national economy.

A more agile intercontinental trade

Commercial food exports between nations are generally carried out through maritime shipping because it is the cheapest option. However, lengthy transit times mean farmers can wait months to receive payments for their products. 

The complexities of international shipping require custom solutions to help producers and buyers effectively manage the process. That’s why we’ve expanded our Quick-Pay financial service to support the export of produce from Latin America to Europe. This new service will streamline shipping, strengthen the cash position of both growers and buyers and foster transparent and trusted relationships between all parties involved.