The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food has published the Annual Foreign Trade Report 2018, a detailed and up-to-date analysis of the main indicators and magnitudes, which provides an in-depth knowledge of the current situation of foreign trade in the agri-food sector.

Their data shows the increase of exports of the agri-food sector that reached 50,349 million euros in 2018, with an increase of 0.6% compared to 2017.

In turn, imports accounted for 38,364 million euros, an increase of 0.6% over the previous year, resulting in a balance of 11,984 million, with a slight increase of 0.3% over the previous period.

The report, which is structured in three blocks, studies in the first of them the main figures of agri-food foreign trade as a whole, highlighting the contribution of the agri-food sector, which accounted for 17.7% of exports of the national economy as a whole .

Spain remains as the fourth EU exporter of this type of merchandise, covering an export quota of 8.8%, slightly higher than that of 2017. A quota only surpassed by the Netherlands, Germany and France.

Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

The food and beverages industry, which includes the sum of food, agriculture and fishery processed, exported 59.4% of the total, reaching the value of 29,931 million euros, 0.2% less than in 2017.

The report also establishes a comparison in foreign trade during the decade 2009 – 2018, from which it can be deduced that agrifood exports have grown by 97.3% in the last 10 years.

Comparison in foreign trade during the decade 2009 - 2018Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

In the report, and based on these data, different economic indicators are analyzed, such as the degree of internationalization of the sector, the rate of coverage, data on exporting and importing companies, or investments in the sector.

International markets

The second block is dedicated to the analysis of commercial flows taking into account the origin and destination of the goods and other aspects of the evolution of international price indices.

According to the data, the EU-28 continues being the main destiny of the Spanish agro-alimentary and fishing exports, with a quota of 73%. The exported value reached the figure of 36.901 million euros, which represents an interannual increase of 0.2%.

The first commercial partner was France, with 22.3% of the export quota and 26.9% of the import quota. Thus, throughout the year 2018 products worth € 8,245.77 M were exported to the neighboring country, mainly citrus fruits, pork meat, fresh vegetables (such as peppers, aubergines, asparagus, among others) and olive oil.

Germany is the second most important destination within the EU-28, with € 5,772.11 million (+ 2.6%). Among the products sent to that country are citrus fruits, fresh vegetables (peppers, aubergines, asparagus, etc.), red fruits, kiwi and persimmon, wine and must and tomatoes.

Italy is the third destination of Spanish agri-food exports with € 5,143.2 million. The products that are exported are mainly olive oil, molluscs, pork meat and fish preserves.

Regarding third countries, exports increased 1.4% in value. The first destinations have been the USA, China, Japan, Switzerland and Morocco.

Exports to the United States have reached 2,032 million euros, which is 1.7% more than the previous year. Exports are based mostly on olive oil, wine and must, canned olives and cheese.

In Japan, they direct goods worth € 935.83 M (+ 3.9%). The products exported are mainly pork, olive oil, wine and must, fish fillets and fresh or chilled fish.

Morocco is an important commercial partner in the agri-food sector. The increases in imports have been very significant, of 9.4%, reaching 1,524.13 M €. Export products include soybean oil, live plants, cuttings, cuttings and grafts and pip fruits.

Main EU destinations for exports and most exported productsMinistry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Export quotas to third countries main destinations 2017-2018Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food

Regarding exports to third countries, the diversification of destinations continues, above all in trade with Asia, where four countries (China, Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong) already represent 22% of our exports to third countries.

Highlights the increase in the number of export certificates for products of animal origin agreed by Spain with third countries, which has led to the opening of 90 new markets, to which we must add the review of 48 agreements.

In the phytosanitary field, during 2018 agreements have been reached for the export of specific products to the following countries: Vietnam, China, Thailand, Argentina, Brazil and Colombia.

Regarding imports, 53% come from the EU-28 reaching € 20,224 million and 47% from € 18,140 million from third countries. The imports of molluscs, corn, crustaceans, soya beans and wheat stand out. As in the case of exports, France and the United States are our main trading partners.

The report also studies the behavior of the most important groups of foreign trade in 2018, highlighting as more exported products, pork, citrus, olive oil, wine and must, and the group of other vegetables.

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