September 21, 2020, marks the third anniversary of the entry into force of the Global Economic and Trade Agreement between the EU and Canada, better known as CETA, which eliminated the customs duties applied to fresh fruit and vegetable exports and gave shipments a boost in 2018 and 2019.
In 2017, the Spanish export of fruits and vegetables to Canada stood at 58,438 tons, and in 2018, with the agreement in force, it grew by 41%, reaching 82,382 tons. In 2019, shipments amounted to 90,103 tons, 9% more than in 2018 and 55% more than before the entry into force of CETA. In terms of value, fruit and vegetable exports to Canada stood at 93.4 million Euro in 2018, 36% more than in 2017; and in 2019, they were worth 97.4 million Euro, 4% more than in 2018 and 42% more than in 2017.
The products exported to Canada are mainly fruits, with 75,182 tons in 2019 and citrus as the most important category. Vegetable shipments amounted to 14,921 tons, with the most exported products being peppers, with 5,148 tons; cabbages, with 4,349 tons; onions, with 1,577 tons and garlic, with 1,569 tons.
Sales drop in 2020
In 2020, and according to the latest official data from the General Customs Directorate (corresponding to the first semester), Spanish sales in Canada have been reduced by 29%, totaling 31.8 million Euro. The greatest decreases have corresponded to fruits, with 22 million Euro; 33% less than in the first half of 2019, and within the fruit category, citrus fruits have recorded the sharpest drop.
In the case of vegetables, exports have fallen by 21% and stood at 9.8 million Euro. The downward trend experienced this year has been more a consequence of the growth of the domestic demand driven by the lockdown, and not so much of a loss of market opportunities, according to FEPEX.
The liberalization of trade in goods and services between the EU and Canada is regulated mainly in Chapter II of the Agreement “National Treatment and Market Access for Goods” and in Annex 2-A “Elimination of Tariffs”.