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Fruit trade shortage in Flanders at 530 million, double that of 2016

The fruit trade in Flanders shows a trade shortage of 530 million Euro. This shows from the annual agricultural report, which looks at the foreign trade of agrarian products based on the National Bank of Belgium and the Comtext data bank of Eurostat.

The trade shortage is 97% fresh fruit and 3% processed fruit. Compared to 2016 the shortage has almost doubled because the output has decreased by 4% and the input has risen by almost the same percentage.

Flanders is an important cog in the world trade of fruit with the ports of Antwerp and Zeebrugge. They import 1.6 billion Euro worth of exotic fruit (bananas, kiwis, pineapples etc), but also export 1.2 billion worth of these products. In fruit juices the export (772 million Euro) is higher than the import (667 million Euro).

In fresh fruit it is noticeable that pears are the main export product. The export is worth 198 million Euro, the trade excess is +172 million Euro. Strawberries also jump out, with an export of 148 million Euro and a sum of +56 million Euro. The trade shortage is the largest in exotic fruit and citrus, which they don't, or hardly, grow themselves, but a firm shortage has also been created in apples over the last two years (-48 million Euro). In grapes, peaches, plums and cherries the import is also clearly bigger than the export.

Due to the importance of exotic fruit and vegetables in the trade the share of countries outside of the EU in the import value is big. 66% of the fresh fruit comes from the rest of the world. In processed fruit this is 56%. The main non-European suppliers of fresh fruit are Colombia (339 million Euro), Costa Rica (279 million Euro), New-Zealand (234 million Euro) and Ecuador (193 million Euro). Within the EU the Netherlands (381 million Euro) and Spain (209 million Euro) are the main suppliers. Processed fruit mainly comes from Brazil (437 million Euro), the Netherlands (171 million Euro) and Germany (120 million Euro).

96% of the export of fruit remains in the EU. For fresh fruit the main sales markets are Germany (424 million Euro), France (357 million Euro) and the Netherlands (344 million Euro). For processed fruit the top three consists of France (328 million Euro), the United Kingdom (247 million Euro) and Germany (175 million Euro).

For more information the Flemish agrarian trade report in 2018 is available on the Flemish government website.

Source: Flemish Goverment 

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