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Spain exported 4% less fruit and veg to the UK in 2017

The Spanish export of fruits and vegetables to the United Kingdom fell by 4% in volume and 3% in value in 2017 compared to 2016, totalling 1.4 million tonnes and 1,710 million Euro, according to data from the Department of Customs and Special Taxes. This has raised the concerns of the producing and exporting sector grouped in FEPEX, given the current state of the Brexit negotiations.

In 2017, the export of vegetables to the United Kingdom fell by 6% in volume and 2% in value, totalling 803,981 tonnes and 788.2 million Euro. The most exported vegetables were cabbages, with 132,460 tonnes; 4% less that in 2016, and 158.4 million Euro (+3%); tomatoes, with 118,421 tonnes (-14%) and 135,5 million Euro (-1%) and lettuce, with 114.306 tonnes (-6%) and 105.4 million Euro (-5%).

Fruit sales dropped by 2% in volume and by 3% in value, reaching 683,271 tonnes and 922.6 million Euro. After citrus fruits, the main fruits exported to the United Kingdom were watermelons, with 66,529 tonnes (+2%); melons, with 57,359 tonnes (+ 1%) and table grapes, with 46,279 tonnes (-16%). However, fruit exports to the United Kingdom are highly diversified, with also considerable volumes of nectarines, with 47,970 tonnes; strawberries, with 35,526 tonnes; or peaches, with 33,724 tonnes.

The drop in exports of fresh vegetables to the United Kingdom in 2017 was due, in large part, to the drop in the production in the first quarter of the year due to bad weather conditions, which caused a decline in the production in the south east of Spain estimated at about 30%, according to FEPEX.

Despite the decline in exports in 2017, the United Kingdom remains the third biggest destination for the Spanish sector, with a share of 11.7% in volume and 13.4% in value. This explains the fruit and veg sector's growing concern.


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