The value of the EU's vegetable imports from third countries grew by 10%, totalling 1,312 million Euro in the first four months of 2017 compared to the same period last year, while fruit imports recorded a 9% growth, reaching €4,630 million, according to the latest data updated by the European Bureau of Statistics, Eurostat, processed by FEPEX.
The main non-EU suppliers of vegetables in the EU in the period under review are still Morocco, Turkey and Egypt, with strong growth in all three cases. Imports of vegetables from Morocco up to April amounted to € 551.8 million, compared to € 470.6 million in the first four months of 2016, which is a 17% growth. Turkey exported vegetables worth € 145 million, compared with € 95.7 million a year earlier (+51%), and Egypt exported € 139 million worth of vegetables, compared with € 116 million a year earlier (+20%).
As for fruit, the main non-EU suppliers were South Africa, with € 619.8 million (+11%), Costa Rica, with € 541 million (+21%) and Ecuador, with € 457 million (+8.5%).
In terms of volume, the EU's vegetable imports in the first quarter increased by 5%, totalling 1.09 million tonnes, while fruit shipments grew by 5%, reaching 4.3 million tonnes, according to Eurostat.
The strong growth in the value of imports from third countries reflects the ease of access to the EU market compared to other markets and the strong non-EU competition faced by EU producers, according to FEPEX.