After several months of outstanding export performance, the value of EU agri-food exports went down quite significantly in August 2015 compared to July, according to latest data from the European Commission.

This drop by €1.45 billion (-13%) was even more pronounced than the drop in export values immediately after the announcement of the Russian embargo one year ago.

However, according to the Commission after record sales in July 2015, the absolute value of exports in August 2015 was at a level similar to the same month in previous years.

It says considering annual data, EU agri-food exports to third countries increased in value by 6.3% compared to the preceding 12-months period, confirming the positive trend since several months.

The largest reductions in monthly export values were witnessed for products not concerned by the Russian ban included:

  • Wine (EUR -259 million; -26%)
  • Raw hides, skins and furskins (EUR -237 million; -70%)
  • Food preparations not specified (EUR –108 million; -22%)
  • Cereals other than wheat and rice (EUR -100 million; -31%)

For monthly agri-food exports, China accounted for the most significant reduction (EUR -226 million; 22%), followed by the US (EUR -192 million; -11%).

Also exports to Saudi Arabia and Hong Kong went down quite significantly in August 2015 compared to July.

In August 2015, not only agri-food exports but also imports to the EU went down compared to the
previous month (EUR -672 million; -7%).

In particular, the Commission says values of fruit and oilcake imports were at a lower level in August compared to July 2015, with EU imports from Brazil and the US going down, but imports from Ukraine going up in value terms.

The trade balance for all agri-food products in August 2015 still showed a surplus in exports by more than EUR 1 billion.