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Spain: Almeria exports more fruit and veg by road than by sea
Fruit and vegetable traders in Almeria still prefer to rely on trucks and road transport rather than on shipments by sea. Ever since Almeria's greenhouse agriculture got a foothold in the international market, back in the 70's, exporting via the Port has never been perceived as a competitive formula. Companies have more trust in the speed of the truck and its door-to-door possibilities than in the routes to the ports of Rotterdam or Hamburg.
Despite the attempts by the Port itself and by various operators in the sector to set up a regular maritime line for horticultural products, it has not been possible for the idea to be brought to life.
So much so, that statistical data provided by Puertos del Estado reveal that the Almeria hinterland closed 2016 with more imported fruits and vegetables than exported ones. To be precise, Almeria received 13,950 tonnes of fruit and vegetables by sea and shipped 13,327 tonnes. Most of the imports came from Morocco and exports went mainly to Algeria. In spite of the province's reputation as a vegetable exporter, the Port of Almeria is one of the least important as far as the supply of fruits and vegetables is concerned.
Spanish ports handled about 510 million tonnes in 2016, of which 8.5 corresponded to fruits, vegetables and legumes. Of this amount, about 60%, 4.9 million tonnes, corresponded to import-export traffic; a figure that makes Spain the largest supplier of this type of products.
The latest report published by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) pointed out that Spain is the leading exporter of fruits and vegetables. Likewise, the Spanish Ministry of Economy announced that the value of Spanish horticultural exports in 2015 amounted to 11,902 million Euro, with a volume of 12,789,939 tonnes, shipped mainly (93%) to other European countries.
In 2016, the total volume of goods exported by Spanish ports, whether domestically produced or in transit from third countries, totalled 5.3 million tonnes.
Publication date: 2/15/2017
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