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EU agri-food: 6.9 billion euro surplus in November 2023

Exports expanding to the UK, declining to the USA and China. Brazil maintains import primacy

The European Union's agri-food trade surplus continues to grow. In October 2023, it reached 6.9 billion euros, up (+3%) compared to the previous month and November 2022 (+27%). From January to November 2023, the cumulative trade balance reached €64.8 billion (€12 billion more than in the same period in 2022). These are the numbers that emerge from the latest monthly report on agri-food trade published by the European Commission.

In November 2023, agri-food exports from the EU reached 20 billion euros. Cumulative exports since January have reached 210.8 billion euros. In particular, exports of processed products are increasing, including cereal preparations and fruit and nut preparations. Exports of cereal preparations and milling products increased (+7%) compared to 2022 (+1.4 billion euros), followed by fruit and vegetable preparations (+14%, +1.3 billion euros) and confectionery and chocolate (+12%, +1.1 billion euros).

On the contrary, there was a decline in cereal exports in value (-14%) but not in volume (+7%). Exports from the EU to the UK increased by +8% from January to November 2023, mainly due to increased prices of cereal preparations, fruit and nuts, confectionery, chocolate and pork. The USA is declining (-7%) due to the reduction in exports of spirits and liqueurs. In third place in terms of exports from the EU, we find China (-5%), due to the collapse of pork exports. On the other hand, exports to Turkey (+21%, +781 million euros) and Ukraine (+19%, +494 million euros) are rising.

In November 2023, EU agri-food imports reached €13.1 billion, a decrease (-16%) compared to November 2022. Cumulative imports from January to November 2023 were €146.1 billion (-7% compared to 2022). The largest increases in terms of cumulative value of imports concern: tobacco products, sugar and isoglucose, vegetables, olives and olive oil. Reductions, however, are recorded for oilseeds, protein crops, vegetable oils, non-edible products, coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, margarine and other oils and fats due to price and volume reductions.

Between January and November 2023, Brazil covered 11% of EU imports, which however decreased (-13%), due to the reduction in volumes of soybeans, coffee and corn. In second place is the United Kingdom, with an increase of 290 million euros, while in third place we find Ukraine, where, however, cumulative imports are decreasing (-6%) compared to the same period in 2022. Imports from Turkey and Egypt saw the largest increases in grains, fruits, nuts, vegetables, olives, and olive oil.

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EFA News - European Food Agency