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Is there more space for Brazilian fruits in Europe?

The European Union is the world’s largest fruit importer. In 2011, the EU spent 7.7 billion Euro on the purchase of 19 main fruits obtained from outside the economic union, according to the data from the Statistical Office of the European Communities (Eurostat).

Market analysts from the Center for Advanced Studies in Applied Economics (Cepea/Esalq-USP) calculated that, of this amount, Brazil received only 6.07%, equivalent to 468.9 million Euros (CIF - value at destination ports). That total is far less than that earned by countries such as Costa Rica, South Africa, Ecuador and Colombia, which are the biggest trade partners of the EU for the 19 fruits considered.

Data processing and analysis done by Mayra Monteiro Viana, Letícia Julião, Aline Soares and Guilherme dos Santos, from Hortifruti Brasil team/Cepea, shows that due to the economic crisis, the EU spent less in 2011 than in 2008 with the import of the fruits analyzed. European production also declined in recent years, indicating that European consumption of these products has reduced since the beginning of the economic crisis. However, the evaluation of Hortifruti Brasil/Cepea analysts indicates that the inherent health appeal of fruits maintains a positive scenario for countries that exports fruits to the EU, such as Brazil.

Aware of these opportunities for growers and traders, analysts of Hortifruti Brasil evaluated the performance and potential of 11 major fruits in Brazilian exports (grape, melon, mango, apple, banana, tahiti lime, papaya, watermelon, orange, fig and avocado) for the European Union. Together, these 11 products accounted for no less than 99% of the total value obtained by Brazil with fruit exports last year, according to data from the Brazilian Foreign Trade Secretariat (Secex).

For this analysis, the team regrouped data provided by the Export Helpdesk, concerning imports of the European Union, in three study periods: 2003-05, 2006-08 and 2009-11. The fruits were also classified as off-season, tropical and exotic (from the European point of view). The principal factor of analysis was the gain or loss of Brazilian participation in the EU imports of each fruit compared to other relevant suppliers. The complete analysis is available in the October/2012 issue of the Hortifruti Brasil magazine:

Below the subtitles of the analysis:

Off-season fruits

- European market continues receptive to Brazilian melons
- Despite the high production, Brazilian exports of fresh oranges are not expressive
- Increases the European import of watermelon and Brazil can gain market
- Brazil loses position in European imports of grape
- Opportunities with the export of Brazilian apples depend on the supply of the UE

Tropical Fruits
- Increases demand for avocados and Brazil has the potential to benefit from this market
- Brazil is the largest exporter of mangoes to the EU but sustain participation is a challenge
- Banana is the most imported tropical fruit by Europe, but Brazil has not gained importance

Exotic Fruits

- Brazil is the second largest fig provider for EU
- Tahiti lime: still exotic, but in search of consolidation
- There is potential, but exports of papaya lost space

The Hortifruti Brasil team is available to exchange information on Brazilian fruits through the email:

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