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UK vegetable exports larger than ever
According to the Horticulture Statistics report for 2016, vegetable exports were up 13 per cent compared with the previous year. The exports were worth more than £109 million, according to the report's authors, the highest export value on record.
Fruit exports also recorded a big increase - up by 17 per cent to £116 million. This was the third consecutive increase by value. But both vegetable and fruit exports were still small in comparison to both the volume and value of produce imported into the UK.
Vegetable imports amounted to £2.3 billion by value in 2016 - an increase of 11 per cent on 2015. Imports were up 5.1 per cent by volume.
Fruit imports recorded an even bigger increase. Fruit shipped to the UK was worth £3.6 billion in 2016 - up 18 per cent on the previous year. Volume was up by 4.4 per cent.
Most of the big exporting countries to the UK were members of the European Union, according to the report.
A third of the vegetable imports, mainly tomatoes, lettuce, cauliflower and broccoli, and 21 per cent of the fruit imports, citrus fruit, grapes and strawberries, came from Spain.
The Netherlands accounted for 25 per cent of vegetable imports, mainly tomatoes and sweet peppers, and the Irish republic accounted for 5.4 per cent of vegetable imports, mainly mushrooms.
The main non-EU exporting country mentioned in the report was South Africa. It accounted for 11 per cent of fruit imports, mainly grapes, citrus fruit and apples.
Publication date: 9/20/2017
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