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EU's agri-food trade surplus increased at start of 2021

In January and February 2021, the value of EU agri-food exports totalled €28.5 billion (a decrease of 6% compared to the same period in 2020), while the value of imports fell by 12.5% to reach €18.2 billion.

14 June 2021, at 7:30am

The agri-food trade surplus for the first two months of 2021 stood at €10.3 billion, an increase of 8% compared to the corresponding period in 2020. These are amongst the main findings published today by the European Commission in the monthly trade report for January-February 2021.

The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the European Union had a significant impact on EU agri-food trade with the UK, with the exports declining in value by €1.13 billion and imports falling by €1.38 billion. Trade with the USA also dipped, with the value of exports falling by €287 million and the value of imports dropping by €191 million.

Further declines in export values were recorded in relation to Russia (down by €169 million), Japan (a drop of €141 million), and Saudi Arabia (a decrease of €90 million), while notable falls in import values were recorded for Indonesia (down by €184 million) and Ukraine (down €170 million).

Compared to January-February 2020, the value of EU agri-food exports to China rose by €529 million, while increased export values were also recorded in relation to Nigeria (up by €84 million), Norway (up €75 million), and Chile (a rise of €57 million). In terms of imports, increased values were recorded for products from India (€49 million), Canada (by €40 million), Serbia (by €36 million), and Nigeria (by €34 million).

In terms of product categories, significant reductions in value were noted for the majority of EU agri-food exports, in particular wheat (down by €223 million), infant food (down by €214 million), spirits and liqueurs (a fall of €188 million), and preparations of vegetables and fruit (down €119 million). However, the value of pigmeat exports grew by €124 million.

As regards import values, the largest decreases were reported for tropical fruit (falling by €411 million), spirits and liqueurs (declining by €194 million), and palm and palm kernel oil (dropping by €187 million). On the other hand, notable increases in import values were recorded for oilcakes (up by €307 million) and soya beans (up €126 million).