Almeria's fruits and vegetables are increasingly oriented towards the international market. For several campaigns, more than 75% of the total volume produced in the province has been shipped to the foreign market. In the past year, its agri-food companies have gone a step further, and although the production volume, in general terms, has been lower, more has been sold abroad. According to an analysis of the 2017-2018 fruit and vegetable campaign carried out by the Agrifood Studies Service of Cajamar Caja Rural, exports accounted for 80.1% of the total fruit and vegetable production, which included tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, zucchini, eggplant, green beans, lettuce, melon and watermelons.
Compared to the previous season, exports increased by 4.1% in terms of volume, with some 2.6 million tons sold in foreign markets. These exports were worth 2,400 million Euro, 5.3% less than in the previous period. The main destinations were again the countries of the European Union, and specifically those of the enlarged Europe, which absorb 11.8% of Almeria's exports.
The most noteworthy sales in foreign markets were those of lettuce, melon and watermelons. In fact, the income generated by watermelon sales abroad grew by more than 35%. Meanwhile, that of melons increased by 7.4% and that of lettuce by a little more than 1%. The other products saw reductions, especially in the case of eggplant and cucumbers, whose value was reduced by more than 11% and 14%, respectively. despite the fact that the eggplant volume exported grew by 9.7%. When it comes to the volume, all horticultural products recorded increases, with the exception of melons, which fell by 122%, and tomatoes, which saw exports fall by 4.5%.
Germany, France, the UK, the Netherlands, Poland and Italy were the main destinations for Almeria's fruit and vegetable exports. More than 790,000 tons were shipped to the German market (with a decrease in their turnover). In France, the volume sold reached 370,813 tons worth 351 million Euro. In the case of Great Britain, the volume stood at 284,831 tons worth 283.2 million Euro. As for the rest, the Netherlands imported 261,223 tons worth 266 million Euro. Poland, with a 24% growth in terms of volume, and for the first time ahead of Italy, saw its volume grow to 156,158 tons worth just over 135 million Euro. Lastly, Italian operators bought a total of 141,431 tons of Almerian fruits and vegetables, for which they paid approximately 136 million Euro.