The EU remains the largest global exporter of agri-food products

The European Union’s (EU) agri-food trade reached a value of €254 billion in 2018 – €138 billion of exports and €116 billion of imports. This means that the EU remain for yet another year the largest global exporter and is now second (previously first) importer of agri-food products.

The top five destinations for the EU’s agri-food products continues to be the United States, China, Switzerland, Japan and Russia, accounting for 40% of EU exports.

Wines and vermouth continue to dominate the basket of exported products with spirits and liqueurs ranking second. Then come infant food and various food preparations, chocolate, pasta and pastry.

Down from the first position in the previous year, t EU became the second biggest importer of agri-food products, with €116 billion worth of imports. This brings the EU trade balance for this sector to a positive net of €22 billion.

The EU mainly sources three types of products: products that are not, or only to a small extent, produced in the EU such as tropical fruit, coffee and fresh or dried fruits (representing 23.4% of imports in 2018); products that are destined for animal feed (including oilcakes and soybeans – together 10.8% of imports); and products used as ingredients in further processing (such as palm oil).

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