Spain is one of the world's top fruit and vegetable exporters. In 2020, it exported 12,8 million tons of these fresh products. Not a record, volume-wise - it was four percent less than in 2019. But, regarding value, it was. At €14.7 billion, it was eight percent more than in the previous year. The Spanish export list is especially strong in citrus. At 13%, oranges head that list.
Mandarins, accounting for ten percent, follow. Then it is bell peppers and watermelon, each making up seven percent of the export volume. Lemons, at six percent of that volume, complete the top five. In 2020, most of these fruits and vegetables - 85% - found their way to European consumers.
Germany and France are the biggest buyers. They account for 27 and 18%, respectively, of Spain's export volume. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands take 12 and eight percent of fresh fruits and vegetables from the Mediterranean country. Italy is Spain's fifth-largest trading partner. They took six percent less. In 2020, two percent of Spain's export volume was sent to Belgium. That is three percent more than the previous year.
In 2020, the Netherlands imported 974.000 tons of fresh fruit and vegetables from Spain. That was seven percent less than in 2017. The decline in Spanish imports is larger than the average volume four percent decline in the Netherlands. That is primarily because of oranges. In 2020, the Netherlands took ten percent fewer Spanish oranges.
They also took 22% fewer tomatoes. Dutch exports to Spain, however, were noteworthy. In 2020, Dutch exports to that country grew by 17%, to nearly 200,000 tons. Remarkably, oranges are the most important product in this respect. More than 20,000 tons of South African oranges found their way to Spain via the Netherlands.