In 2020, Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports increased by 7.7% over 2019, amounting to 14,594 million euro. The export volume decreased by 2.8% over the previous year, standing at 13 million tons, according to data from the Customs and Excise Department processed by FEPEX.
Vegetable exports increased by 4.6% in 2020, reaching 6,022 million euro, and the volume was the same as in 2019, with 5.6 million tons. Pepper remains the Spain's leading vegetable export with 845,359 tons (+ 2%) and 1,158 million euro (+ 4%). It was followed by lettuce with 766,384 tons (+ 0.7%) and 644 million euro (+ 7%). Tomato, which has historically been the main vegetable exported by Spain, ranked third in volume with 728,809 tons (-5%) and 934 million euro (+ 1%).
Fruit exports in 2020 stood at 8,572 million euro, i.e. 10% higher than in 2019, and their volume fell by 5%, totaling 7.4 million tons. The value of the most exported product groups, such as citrus fruits or stone fruit, increased while the value of berry exports remained stable. The main stone fruit species, peaches and nectarines, increased by 8% and 13% respectively, totaling 397 million euro and 451 million euro. The volume decreased by 19% and 23%, respectively, with 325,027 tons and 328,252 tons.
Cherry exports registered a 30% drop in volume and value, standing at 20,193 tons and 64 million euro. Strawberry exports stood at 586 million euros (-1.4%) and 286,852 tons (-2.2%), blueberry exports totaled 378 million euro (+ 12%) and 66,103 tons (-3%), and raspberry exports amounted to 429 million euro, the same figure as in 2019, and 59,222 tons (-14%). Summer fruits such as watermelon and melon also grew by 7% and 1%, totaling 444 million euro and 321 million euro, respectively.
The EU received 93.5% of the total exported, which shows Spain's dependence on the Community market. Exports outside Europe continue to be very low and only accounted for 3.7% of all exports.
Imports in 2020 maintained their positive evolution, with a 3.5% increase in volume and a 6% increase in value over 2019, totaling 3.4 million tons and 3,118 million euro.
According to FEPEX, the data of 2020 reflect the fruit and vegetable sector's strong dependence on exports, especially to the community market, to maintain its economic and social sustainability. It also shows the decline in exports of key products, such as tomatoes, due to the increase in Community imports from third-country products in periods that fully coincide with Spain's production.