Almeria's agricultural sector is one of the most concerned ahead of the immediate future of the country's commercial relations with the United Kingdom, given the possibility of a hard Brexit, as this would result in the UK being considered a third country from March 30.
If this ends up happening, there is a possibility of exports collapsing due to the imposition of customs controls, the payment of customs duties, the changes in current contracts between operators, or the sudden need to present phytosanitary and/or quality certificates, as warned by Cooperativas Agro-alimentarias.
At this time, exports to the UK (the third largest buyer of Almeria's vegetables) are already yielding negative figures. The turnover generated by horticultural trade with the UK usually exceeds the 300 million Euro (the total value of Almeria's exports exceeds the 400 million Euro), although the global sales of agro-food products do show a positive balance of 5.7% (286.2 million Euro).
From January to November 2018, peppers, tomatoes and zucchini have been the most hit by this uncertainty, with significant declines, according to data from the ICEX. Peppers have seen their exports reduced by 5.6%, down to 62.3 million Euro. Tomato sales to this country have fallen by 10.1%, down to 44.1 million, and those of zucchini have also fallen by 10.1%, down to 26 million Euro. Lastly, the sale of plants and seeds to the United Kingdom has been reduced by 21.6% and the total value now stands at 12.9 million Euro.