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First semester of 2013

Spain: Strawberry exports to the UK up 21% despite overall drop

Spain's strawberry export volumes have dropped by 5.5%. The two destinations falling the most are France and Belgium (20 and 33% respectively), possibly as a result of Morocco's expansion, as well as their own.

Although Germany is still the largest importer of Spanish strawberries, with 33.89% of the production, shipments to the UK have increased by 21% during this year's first semester, achieving a total of 24,000 tonnes.

According to data provided by the Association of Producers and Exporters of Strawberries from Huelva (Freshuelva), Germany is still Europe's largest strawberry consumer, with over 80,000 tonnes imported.

Overall, compared to last year, exports towards EU countries have dropped by 6.2%, although strawberry shipments outside of the EU have grown by 15%.

Freshuelva's manager, Rafael Domínguez Guillén, pointed out that during the months of April and May, Morocco is "in a position of advantage to introduce their strawberries into the EU, as they are exempt of tariffs, making their produce much cheaper."

As for other countries, France receives 23.1% of Huelva's strawberry production, and Italy 9.4%, while the rest have remained at the same levels as last season.

Freshuelva's manager stressed how "the destinations remain the same every year, as strawberry consumption has consolidated in Europe," also pointing out that the domestic market usually absorbs 15% of the production. Nevertheless, he mentioned how this percentage occasionally escalates, depending on the weather.

The sector has now set its sights on the American continent, where one of Freshuelva's associates, Grufesa, has started exporting its products (to Panama); and to other countries like Russia, Poland and Finland, which are said to have plenty of potential.


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