The results of both the first and second quarter of 2021 agriculture export performance reflects the resilience of the industry, even in the face of ongoing Covid-19 related challenges across the globe. The sector was able to operate during the various lockdown periods due to it being considered an essential service. Despite logistical challenges, the sector managed to move large volumes of produce to the rest of the world, with the second quarter of 2021 recording a trade surplus of US$1.5m which is 40% ahead of the same period in 2020. The follows a 36% year-on-year spike in total agriculture exports in quarter two of 2021 at US$3.2bn, bringing the total 1H2021 export value to US$6.1bn which is 30% higher year-on-year.
The major export commodity is citrus, which saw volumes rising exponentially due to seasonal availability in 2Q2021 to 817,023 tons which is up 1.6% year-on-year. This brought the 1H2021 total citrus exports to 852,964 tons, which is up 0.7% year-on-year. Strong demand on export markets due to the health benefits associated with citrus commodities in the wake of the Covid-19 global crisis underpinned the good export performance.
In value terms, Q2 citrus export revenue reached US$626,585, which is 14.2% higher year-on-year while the 1H2021 cumulative total rose by 12.2% year-on-year to US$655,946. Of the top ten country destinations, Netherlands accounted for 20.6% and 19.8% of the total second quarter and 1H2021 volumes respectively but both were still 14% down on the previous year.