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Adding value to spanish exports


17% increase in export value of fruit and vegetables

According to a study by the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and the Environment, exports of fresh and dried fruit, vegetables, tubers and legumes as well as canned and pre-prepared foods, jams and juices, expanded in value by around 17% from 2010-2013.

According to year-on-year data for August, vegetable exports increased from 4.026 billion euros in 2010 to 4.733 billion euros in 2013, while fruit exports rose from 5.706 billion euros in 2010 to 6.707 billion euros in 2013.

The report analyzes the half-yearly and monthly performance of exports, imports, and the trade balance in terms of economic value and volume, as well as the geographic distribution of exports, exploring each group and sub-group component. In short, the report reflects the foreign trade performance of the entire food chain (fresh and processed products).


Exports (from August 2012 to July 2013) of fresh/dried fruit expanded by 15.3% year-on-year, to 6.707 billion euros and 7.2 million tons, yielding a surplus of 4.985 billion euros.

The export with the greatest economic value is fresh/dried citrus fruit, which yielded 2.980 billion euros in the last year; followed by fresh stone fruit, such as peaches, nectarines, apricots and plums, with 964 million euros; and fresh berries, including strawberries, blackberries, cranberries and redcurrants, with 736 billion euros.

Fresh banana exports increased the most in the last three years, by 54%, followed by other fresh fruit such as apricots, plums, apples and pears, up 29%, and honeydew and watermelon, up 24%.

In terms of economic value, 89% of those exports head to the European Union, with Germany, France, the UK and Italy together accounting for 52%; in exports to non-EU countries, Russia leads the way, with 3%, followed by Switzerland, with 2%, and the US, 1%.

Canned fruit, jams, candied fruits and fruit juices

Exports of canned fruit and fruit preparations increased by 15% in the last decade, compared with imports, which have expanded by 97%. The positive balance has remained stable in the last three years, and France is the primary destination of Spanish exports, accounting for 22%.

Jams and candied fruit have improved their balance in the last year, with exports totaling 41 million euros and Russia accounting for 7.1% of the total export value.

Fruit juice is the sub-sector whose performance has improved the most in the last decade, with exports up by 93% and imports by 52%. The balance has improved in the last three years, to 444 million euros; France is the primary destination, accounting for 32%.


Among vegetables, the value of fresh/dried legumes and tubers rose by 14.7% in the last year, though that figure was surpassed by imports, which increased by 25.2%. Exports totaled 4.733 billion euros and 4.9 million tons, yielding a balance of 3.670 billion euros.

Among vegetables, exports of fresh/chilled tomatoes totaled 970 million euros between August 2012 and July 2013, followed by peppers, with 713 million euros; and lettuce and endive, with 647 million euros.  

Exports of cassava, yam and similar items increased the most, from 4 million euros to 17 million euros in three years, followed by fresh pod vegetables (peas and green beans), for which exports rose 35%, to 43 million euros.

Exports to the EU accounted for 94% of foreign trade in terms of value, with Germany, France, the UK and the Netherlands accounting for a total of 68%; As regards non-EU countries, Switzerland accounted for 2% and Russia for 1%.


Canned vegetables and vegetable preparations

Exports of canned vegetables and vegetable preparations totaled 1.244 billion euros in 2012, yielding a surplus of 812 million euros and reflecting a greater diversification in terms of destinations, since 42% corresponds to non-EU countries, led by the US (15.9%). France follows in second place (15.3%), and Russia in third (5.2%).

The report also compares the top ten destinations for Spanish exports during the first half of 2012 and 2013, as well as an analysis of monthly performance during the last two years. This data reflects the cyclical performance of vegetable, legume and tuber exports, which reached their lows in summer, and a more linear performance by fruits and nuts, which also dipped in summer but which exhibited a noticeable upward trend.

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