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Spain: Concerns in the industry about drop in exports to the US

Exports of Spanish fruit and vegetables to the United States up to September 2012 fell by 5% compared to the same period last year, totalling 13,016 tonnes, which means the downward trend continues, as exports had already fallen by 11% in 2011 compared to 2010, totalling 57,415 tonnes, according to data from the Directorate General of Duties and Special Taxes, under the Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness.

Of the total exported to the United States, 9,669 tonnes correspond to fruit, especially mandarins, and 3,347 to vegetables. This drop in exports of fruit and vegetables to the US not only affects Spain. European exports to that country as a whole are falling. In 2011, according to Eurostat, they reached 113,082 tonnes compared to the 115,825 tonnes of 2010.

Up to September this year, European exports of fruit and vegetables to the United States reached 48,872 tonnes, almost the same figure as in the same period of 2011, when 48,347 tonnes were exported.

The European Commission is trying to start negotiations for a future Free Trade Agreement with the United States.

A high level group formed by representatives of both parts produced a preliminary report in June this year and will prepare another final report this year about the launch of the negotiations. Later, in 2013, a bilateral summit would take place in which, based on that report, decisions would be made.

For FEPEX, the hypothetical launch of EU-US negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement should open the North American market to European horticultural products, virtually closed due to phytosanitary barriers. 


Source: Fepex

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