EU fruit and vegetables imports from third countries increased 7%
The tomato was the most purchased vegetable with 628,067 tons in 2017, (+10%), and a value of 671 million euro (+3%).
It was followed potatoes, with 362,440 tons (-16%), pepper with 261,904 tons (+14%) and onions with 289,463 tons (+18%).
Fruits imports from non-EU countries also grew 7% in volume, standing at 14.2 million tons, and 5% in value, with 14,318 million euro.
The most imported fruits were bananas with more than 5.9 million tons and pineapples and oranges, both with more than one million tons sold.
In the last five years EU imports of fruit and vegetables from third countries have had consecutive increases.
In 2014 imports of this kind amounted to 12,695 million euro; in 2015 to 14,195 million euro; in 2016 to 15,445 million euro; in 2017 to 16,390 million euro, and in 2018 to 16,940 million euro.
This upward trend contrasts with the downward trend of Community exports to third countries.
In 2018, the EU sold 15% less fruit and vegetables to third countries, totaling 5.4 million tons.
In the last five years exports also experienced a continuous decline.
According to FEPEX, the evolution of foreign trade in fruit and vegetables with third countries is a consequence of the asymmetric globalization of the Community market, where the community preference has practically disappeared, while the large markets of third countries remain practically closed with protectionist policies. ■