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Spain: Horticultural exports grew by 1% in 2017

In 2017, the value of Spain's fresh fruit and vegetable exports increased by 1% compared to 2016, totalling 12,704 million Euro, and the volume grew by 0.5%, reaching 12.6 million tonnes, according to data from the General Directorate of Customs. The initial growth forecasts were not met due to the declines recorded in the months of November and December. There was also a slowdown in the pace of growth compared to 2016 and 2015.

The export of vegetables in 2017 fell by 3.7%, totalling 5.1 million tonnes, and the value increased by 1% and reached 5,267 million Euro. The main vegetables exported were tomatoes, with 809,527 tonnes (-11%) and 1,003 million Euro (+3.7%); lettuce, with 761,905 tonnes (+1.4%) and 662.8 million Euro (+1.2 %); peppers, with 686,558 tonnes (-2.1%) and 954 million Euro (+2.5%); cucumbers, with 626,689 tonnes (-0.7%) and 566.2 million Euro (+3.4%) and cabbages, with 446,895 tonnes (-4%) and 479.5 million Euro (+4.8%).

Fruit exports grew by 3.6% in terms of volume and 1.3% in terms of value, reaching 7.4 million tonnes and 7,437 million Euro. Behind citrus fruits, the main fruits sold abroad were stone fruits and berries (including strawberries), with melons and watermelons also accounting for a considerable volume. In 2017, berries achieved a considerable growth, especially raspberries, which stood out with 45,809 tonnes (+21%) worth 346 million Euro (+12.3%) and blueberries, with 46,510 tonnes (+27.4%) and 274.7 million Euro (+5.5%). As for stone fruit, the most exported products were peaches, which recorded an increase of 12% in terms of volume, with 453,550 tonnes, and a 2.4% drop in terms of value, with 376 million Euro, while nectarine exports stood at 468,445 tonnes (+13%) worth 418.4 million Euro (+3%). Also worth noting is the growth achieved by kakis, with 214,904 tonnes (+10%) and 191 million Euro (+4%), and avocados, with 107,006 tonnes (+16.7%) and 304 million Euro (+23.4%). Regarding pome fruit, there has been a strong growth of pears, with 119,000 tonnes (+29.4%) and 93 million Euro (+21.5%), while apple shipments have fallen to 123,086 tonnes (-3.6%) worth 84.8 million Euro (-14.5%).

Looking at destinations, the EU accounted for 93% of all Spanish fruit and vegetable exports, with 11.7 million tonnes and 11,760 million Euro; practically the same figures as in 2016. Meanwhile, shipments to non-EU countries grew by 4% in terms volume and 3% in terms of value, totalling 830,642 tonnes and 944 million Euro, with Brazil as the main destination. Also worthy of note was the performance of exports to Canada, with 68.6 million Euro (+20%), and Saudi Arabia, with 58.2 million Euro (+14%).

By regions, the biggest exporters were Andalusia, with 3.9 million tonnes (the same volume as in 2016) worth 4,914 million Euro (+5%); the Region of Valencia, with 3.7 million tonnes (-2%) worth 3,435 million Euro (the same amount as in 2016) and Murcia, with 2.5 million tonnes (the same volume as the previous year) worth 2,429 million Euro (-2%). Catalonia also stands out with one million tonnes (+7%) worth 862.8 million Euro (the same value as in 2016), while Aragon shipped 201,783 tonnes (+11%) worth 175 million Euro (the same value as in 2016) and Extremadura exported 153,875 tonnes (-7%) worth 169.5 million Euro (-5%).

With regard to imports in 2017, the growing trend of recent years continues, with a 6% increase in terms of volume and 8.6% in terms of value, totalling 3 million tonnes and 2,526 million Euro.

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