José María Pozancos, Director of FEPEX
Spanish exports of fresh fruits and vegetables increased by 13% year-on-year in 2012 in terms of value, amounting to 9.641 billion euros, and by 6% in terms of volume, to 11 million tons, according to the Department of Customs and Excise Taxes of the Ministry of Economy, processed by FEPEX.
Export value increased in 2012, for both vegetables and fruits; however, the volume of vegetable exports fell by 1%, mainly due to the decline in volumes in the last quarter.
The value of vegetable exports increased by 11%, amounting to 3.904 billion euros, while volume declined by 1%, to 4.2 million tons. The main vegetables exported were tomatoes (+10%), amounting to 925 million euros; peppers (+4%), 606 million euros; and lettuce (+27%), 589 million euros.
The value of fruit exports rose by 14% in 2012, amounting to 5.737 billion euros, and volumes increased by 11%, to 6.8 million tons. Stone fruit exports increased by a notable 13% year-on-year in 2012, totaling 859 million euros. Exports also increased in strawberries (+18%), to 522 million euros; watermelon (+13%), to 208 million euros; and honeydew (+18%), to 260 million euros.
The primary exporting regions are Valencia, Andalusia and Murcia, all of which recorded significant growth. Valencian exports in 2012 totaled 4.2 million tons (+11%) and 3.286 billion euros (+13%); in Andalusia they totaled 3 million tons (+3%) and 3.249 billion euros (+12%); and Murcia's stood at 2 million tons (+11%) and 1.807 billion euros (+18%). Exports by Catalonia and Extremadura also expanded, to 686 million euros (+13%) and 160 million euros (+23%), respectively.
The European Union remains the primary destination for Spanish fruits and vegetables, accounting for 91% of the total. The main importers are Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands, which registered notable growth. Exports to Germany in 2012 totaled 2.268 billion euros (+15), to France 1.801 billion euros (+11%), to the UK 1.227 billion euros (+7%), and to the Netherlands 851 million euros (+16%).
Imports in 2012 were stable in terms of value and volume, and amounted to 1.413 billion euros (+0.2%) and 2.2 million tons (-0.1%). Fruit imports reached 953 million euros (+3.5%) and 1.2 million tons (+1%), with apples leading the way, with 154 million euros (-1%). Vegetable imports amounted to 460.5 million euros (-6%) and 1 million tons (-2%), with potatoes ranking first, with 160 million euro (-14%).
The upward trend in exports persists in 2013
According to the most recent data available, Spanish exports of fresh fruits and vegetables expanded by 13% year-on-year in value terms in 1H13, to 5.965 billion euros, and by 6% in volume, to 6.2 million tons.
The positive trend in fruit and vegetable exports continues in 2013. As for sub-sectors, vegetable exports increased by 15%, to 2.716 billion euros. Tomato exports ranked first, with 636 million euros (+8%); followed by peppers, with 442 million euros (+18%); and lettuce, 374 million euros (+2%). In terms of volume, total vegetables exports expanded by 9.%, to 2.7 million tons.
Fruit exports increased by 11%, to 3.249 billion euros. Nectarine and peach exports increased notably, by 29% to 175 million euros, and by 30% to 124 million euros, respectively, as did watermelon, by 17% to 118 million euros, and honeydew, by 7% to 127 million euros.
Spain, the EU's number 1 supplier of fresh fruits and vegetables
Intra-community trade in fresh fruits and vegetables, i.e. exports between EU countries, totaled 34.8 million tons in 2012, according to data from Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities.
Spain is the leading supplier of fruits and vegetables in the EU, with 29.3% of the total.
Its market share has increased in the last five years, from 26.7% in 2008 to 29.3% in 2012.
It is also the world's leading fruit and vegetable exporter
Spain maintains its position as the world's leading exporter of fresh fruits and vegetables, with a total market share of 9%, followed by the Netherlands and China, according to the most recent FAO data for 2009. It is also one of the main producers in the European Union, along with Italy and France.