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EU: Top importer of agricultural products from developing countries

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Friday, 07 June 2013

EU: Top importer of agricultural products from developing countries

In 2012, the EU was the global top importer of products from developing countries, the latest European Commission report monitoring the agri-trade policy, entitled "Agricultural trade in 2012: A good story to tell in a difficult year?" shows. On average between 2009 and 2011, 72% of EU imports came from developing countries (€67 billion), significantly above the 43% share in total agricultural imports of the "Big 5" taken together (Canada, US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan).

The EU remains by far the world's biggest importer of agricultural goods, with imports reaching an all-time high of €102 billion, just 3% higher than in 2011. Russia remains the EU's second export market, with an export share of 10%, unchanged since 2009. It is followed by Switzerland (6% share), China, and Japan.

EU: New record in agricultural trade surplus:

After a switch from a net agricultural importer in 2009 to a net exporter in 2010, the EU has reached in 2012 a new record: its agricultural trade surplus reached €12.6 billion. This means an addition of almost €8.9 billion to the 2011 surplus.

EU: second largest global agricultural exporter:

The EU was just inches behind the US, with exports reaching an all-time high of over €114 billion, from €102 billion in 20122 . However, the 2012 growth rate was lower than in 2011 (12%; 17% in 2011).
The EU continues to specialize in the export of final products, these accounting for two thirds of total agricultural exports. Spirits and liqueurs weigh the most heavily in the basket of exported products: their total value in 2012 was €10.2 billion. They were followed by cereal preparations valued at €7.8 billion. Other top exported product categories included wheat, other non-specific (yeast), ice-cream, chocolate and confectionery, pork, cheese, fruit and vegetable preparations and cigars and cigarettes.
The increase in exports indicate that the growth in demand for EU products is essentially driven especially by developing economies. In addition, depreciation of the Euro against major currencies has also helped the EU to boost its sales.

You can consult the latest report on the EU agri-trade policy - "Agricultural trade in 2012: A good story to tell in a difficult year?" - by following this link.

Source: European Commission