In the first half of the year, the Spanish export of fruit and vegetables has been reduced by 3.5% in terms of volume and has grown by 9.5% in terms of value compared to the same period of the previous year, totaling 7.2 million tons and 8,564 million Euro, according to data from the Department of Customs and Special Taxes processed by FEPEX.
In those six months, the export of vegetables has fallen by 1.4% in terms of volume compared to the same period of 2019, totaling 3.3 million tons, while the value has increased by 5.5%, reaching 3,728 million Euro. The most noteworthy is the drop in the volume of priority vegetables for Spanish exporters. Tomato sales stood at 459,231 tons (-8%) worth 586 million Euro (+2%). Lettuce exports were reduced in terms of both volume and value, with 475,737 tons (-4%) and 441 million Euro (-4%), and cabbage exports also saw reduction in both volume and value, totaling 349,737 tons (-10%) and 428 million Euro (-9%).
As for fruits, sales abroad stood at 3.8 million tons (-5%) and the value grew considerably, reaching 4,835 million Euro (+13%). Worthy of note is the good performance of stone fruit, especially of peaches, with 132,578 tons (+11%) and 185.5 million Euro (+32%), or nectarines, with 135,819 tons (+9%) and 209 million Euro (+30%). Meanwhile, there were reductions in the case of berries such as strawberries, with 274,229 tons (-3%) and 553 million Euro (-3%), or raspberries, with 40,688 tons (-21%) and 293 million Euro (-7%).
By regions, the horticultural exports of Andalusia in the first half of 2020 stood at 2.7 million tons (4% less than in the same period of 2019) worth 3,788 million Euro (+5%). The Region of Valencia shipped 2 million tons (-8%) worth 2,166 million Euro (+12%), and Murcia accounted for 1.4 million tons (-1%) worth 1,633 million Euro (-14 %).
In May and June, there were sharp drops in the exported volume, by 15% and by 11%, respectively, while the value increased by 5% in May and by just 1% in June. This contrasts with the growth of between 10% and 14% registered in the months of January to April.
For FEPEX, it will be necessary to apply a number of measures in multiple areas, aiming to improve the competitiveness or achieve greater market diversification. There are important threats ahead, such as Brexit, as the United Kingdom is currently the third largest market for Spanish exporters.