Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports to non-European countries in the first four months of the year fell by 22.5% in volume and 24% in value compared to the same period in 2020, totaling 144,781 tons and 156.6 million euro, according to the latest data updated by the Customs and Excise Department.
The decline in exports to non-European countries in this period has been due, to a large extent, to the decline in imports from countries that had previously experienced positive results, such as Brazil.
Brazil is the first destination market for the Spanish fruit and vegetable sector in the American continent. Spanish exports to Brazil amounted to 11,697 tons worth 10 million euro, i.e. 27% less volume and 29% less value than in the first four months of 2020.
Exports to China, which were much lower than exports to Brazil, also fell, specifically by 86% in volume, adding 1,238 tons, and by 89% in value, totaling 1.7 million euro.
The low level of exports to non-European countries is due to multiple and diverse causes, such as phytosanitary barriers, logistical, financial, and commercial aspects. It is also due, according to Fepex, to the limited involvement of the European Commission in the real opening of new markets, which requires a greater commitment on the part of the Community authorities in specific commercial negotiations.
However, it should be noted that non-European countries only accounted for 3% of the Spanish fruit and vegetable export volume, which stood at 4.8 million tons, and 2.5% of the total value achieved in the first four months of 2021, which amounted to 6,135 million euro.