In January and February 2021, the value of EU agri-food exports totaled €28.5 billion (a decrease of 6% compared to the same period in 2020), while the value of imports fell by 12.5% to reach €18.2 billion.
The agri-food trade surplus for the first two months of 2021 stood at €10.3 billion, an increase of 8% compared to the corresponding period in 2020.
These are amongst the main findings published by the European Commission in the monthly trade report for January-February 2021.
Agri-food export values
The UK’s withdrawal from the EU had a significant impact on EU agri-food trade with the UK, with the exports declining in value by €1.13 billion and imports falling by €1.38 billion.
Trade with the USA also dipped, with the value of exports falling by €287 million and the value of imports dropping by €191 million.
Further declines in export values were recorded in relation to Russia (down by €169 million), Japan (a drop of €141 million), and Saudi Arabia (a decrease of €90 million), while notable falls in import values were recorded for Indonesia (down by €184 million) and Ukraine (down €170 million).
Compared to January-February 2020, the value of EU agri-food exports to China rose by €529 million, while increased export values were also recorded in relation to Nigeria (up by €84 million), Norway (up €75 million) and Chile (a rise of €57 million).
In terms of imports, increased values were recorded for products from India (€49 million), Canada (by €40 million), Serbia (by €36 million) and Nigeria (by €34 million).
In terms of product categories, significant reductions in value were noted for the majority of EU agri-food exports, in particular wheat (down by €223 million), infant food (down by €214 million), spirits and liqueurs (a fall of €188 million) and preparations of vegetables and fruit (down €119 million).
However, the value of pigmeat exports grew by €124 million, with rises also recorded for rapeseed and sunflower oils (an increase of €115 million), pet food (a jump of €64 million), soups and sauces (up by €31 million) and oilcakes (up €22 million).
As regards import values, the largest decreases were reported for tropical fruit (falling by €411 million), spirits and liqueurs (declining by €194 million) and palm and palm kernel oil (dropping by €187 million).
On the other hand, notable increases in import values were recorded for oilcakes (up by €307 million) and soya beans (up €126 million).