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EU: agri-food exports at the highest levels after three years

Trade surplus of +6.9 billion euros, an increase of 28% on a monthly basis

After February’s exports bounce back, the EU agri-food tradecontinued to progress with a significant increase of exports in March. This has resulted in a trade surplus of +€6.9 billion, representing a 28% increase month-on-month and reaching its highest level over the past three years. Overall, March’shigh level of exports reached €21.5 billion, a 16% increase compared to February 2023 (and 14% higher than of March 2022). Imports have also risen after three months, standing at €14.6 billion. These are the main findings of the latest monthly agri-food trade report published today by the European Commission.

In March 2023, there was a substantial increase in EU agri-food exports, resulting in a cumulative export of €58.2 billion in the first quarter of 2023 (from January to March 2023). This represents a significant 13% growth compared to the same period in 2022 (+€6.7 billion). Nearly all product categories witnessed higher export values compared to last year's figures. In particular, exports increased for cereal preparations and milling products (+€1.2 billion, +24%), preparations of fruits, nuts and vegetables (+€698 million, +31%), as well as dairy products (+€634 million, +15%).

The top three destinations in the first quarter of 2023 for EU agri-food exports were the United Kingdom, the United States, and China. Notable export increases included Türkiye (+€416 million, +41%, especially beef and veal), Saudi Arabia (+€362 million, +40%, mainly cereals) and Ukraine (+€274 million, +45%).

After a seasonal three-month dip, EU agri-food imports started increasing again in March 2023 by 10% month-on-month. This translated into a bounce back to a €14.6 billion monthly value. During that time, imports increased particularly for sugar and isoglucose, cereals and tobacco products, both in volume and in value.

Imports from Ukraine, Canada and the UK increased the most while imports from Russia were much below their 2022 level on that period (-44%, -€365 million). The top three import countries in the first quarter of 2023 for EU agri-food imports were Brazil, Ukraine and the United Kingdom.

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EFA News - European Food Agency