A Downturn in Spanish Agroexports for 2023
Spanish fruit and vegetable exports are experiencing a worrying decline in 2023. According to data from Spain’s Customs and Tariffs Department, May witnessed a 4.4% drop in total shipments compared to the same month last year, with 1.03 million metric tons.
This decline is part of a consistent downward trend in the first five months of 2023, with Spanish agro-exports experiencing a 9.6% year-over-year drop. This fall is primarily attributed to an 8.3% decrease in fruit exports, while vegetable exports saw only a marginal increase of 1.6%.
These numbers are particularly troubling considering that global imports of fruits and vegetables have grown by 12%.
The Spanish Federation of Associations of Exporting Producers of Fruits, Vegetables, Flowers and Live Plants (FEPEX) has expressed the need to take steps to address this decline.
Who are Spain’s main trading partners?
The primary destinations for Spanish agricultural products in 2023 were France with 16.6%, Portugal with 13.4% and Germany with 13.2%. These three countries accounted for 43.2% of the total volume of exports, according to information presented in FAOSTAT’s detailed trade matrix.
Other significant trade partners include Italy, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, China, Poland, Saudi Arabia and Belgium, which account for 30.4% of the total volume exported.
The remaining 26.4% is distributed among 176 other countries.
France, Portugal and Germany were also the countries with the highest year-on-year increase in volume between 2020 and 2021. These countries further consolidated their importance as agro-trade partners for Spain.
Primary agricultural products exported by Spain
In 2021, oranges were Spain’s top fruit and vegetable export product, totaling 1,480,734 metric tons, or 3.7% of all agro exports. However, this is a 9.8% decrease from the 1,641,188 metric tons shipped in 2020.
Tangerines, mandarins and clementines also faced a 4.6% year-over-year decrease. Other agro-products experiencing an export decline include lemons and limes (4.3%), tomatoes (10.1%), cucumbers and gherkins (5.9%) and peppers and green peppers (0.8%).
Conversely, watermelon exports surged in 2021, reaching 902,935 metric tons, a 7.2% increase over 2020. Other crops that increased their shipments include lettuce and chicory (3.9%), pumpkins and squash, with (6.8%), and cauliflower and broccoli, with (5.5%).
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Sources: Fresh Fruit Portal, FAOSTAT