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Egypt almost doubled fresh fruit exports to EU in 2023

According to EastFruit, Egyptian fresh fruit exporters, who target the EU market, had a very successful year in 2023. They managed to almost double their export volume, reaching over half a million tons for the first time ever!

This remarkable achievement was mainly driven by the surge in orange exports from Egypt to the EU as a result of the severe drought that affected the main orange-producing countries in the region. In the 2022/23 season, the EU's orange production, based on FAS USDA estimates, dropped to the lowest level in a decade, creating a huge demand for oranges from non-EU countries. For instance, during the season (November 2022 – October 2023), Egypt's orange exports to Spain grew by a staggering 4,000 times!

The second most important category for Egyptian exporters, who focus on the EU market, was grapes. The trend was also positive for this product, although not as impressive as for oranges, and Egypt's market share in the EU was occasionally challenged by controversies over the illegal use of protected varieties.

All other fresh fruits accounted for less than 8% of Egypt's export structure. The most notable ones were mandarins (21,000 tons), lemons (7,600 tons), mango and guava (3,000 tons), strawberries (2,500 tons), watermelons (1,400 tons) and grapefruits (1,200 tons).

It is worth noting that the export of almost all of these products increased in 2023, except for fresh strawberries, which exports continued to decline. Interestingly, the opposite was true for frozen strawberries, and their exports have been growing steadily since at least 2018.

The Netherlands (254,000 tons) remained Egypt's main trading partner in the EU market, followed by Spain (103,000 tons), which boosted its demand for imported oranges. Together, these two countries accounted for about two-thirds of Egypt's total fresh fruit exports to the EU. It is also noteworthy that these two countries are the largest importers of this product from all non-EU countries.

Egypt also managed to expand its fresh fruit shipments to almost all key export destinations in the EU. Besides Spain, there was a significant growth in exports to Italy, France, and Ireland, which bought 2-2.5 times more Egyptian products, and exports to the Netherlands increased by about 60% in volume over the year.

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