Wheat, vegetable and pork drive EU agri-food exports up year-on-year

Wheat, vegetables and pork exports drove overall EU agri-food exports up in December 2015 on the corresponding month in 2014.

In December, agri-food exports achieved a value of €11.2 billion, exceeding the value of previous years for the same month by almost €1 billion.

This is an up-take of more than 9% compared to the usual export values in December, according to statistics from the European Commission.

The highest increases in monthly export values were recorded for USA, China and Japan, as well as for some Middle East countries (Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates).

Meanwhile, the most important reductions were in exports to Hong Kong, Algeria and again, Russia.

The highest increases in monthly export values were witnessed for wheat (+€168m compared to December 2014) as well as for vegetables (+€76m) and for pork (+€72m).

On the other hand, monthly export values in December 2015 compared to December 2014 went down in particular for milk powders, which were back 20m and for hides and skins, back €32m and other non-edible products.

In December 2015 agri-food imports to the EU increased to €9.6 billion form €8.9 billion in December 2014.

Statistics from the Commission show that the highest increase in monthly imports was from Ukraine, followed by imports from USA and Australia.

Imports went down in particular from Indonesia in December 2015 compared to December 2014

The trade balance for all EU agri-food products in 2015 showed a surplus in exports of about €16 billion, slightly lower than in 2014 (€18 billion).

Export performance in 2015 still at record level

In 2015, EU agri-food exports to third countries attained a value of more than €129 billion, meaning an increase by 6% in value compared to 2014.

Outstanding export values were achieved in March, July and December 2015.

Looking at the 2015 annual export performance per product category, export values increased in particular for cereals other than wheat (+€1.2 billion; up 68% compared to 2014 export values).

Export values also increased for live animals (+€486m; up 25%) and for beer, waters and soft drinks.

Milk powders, however, recorded a decrease in export values of €843m – a decrease of 17%. Fresh fruit (-€341m; down 12%) and cheese (-€120m; down 3%) also recorded decreases in export value.

These decreases were due to either the Russian embargo or the contraction of Chinese demand for dairy products.