EU agricultural exports reach record high

Last year was a record year for agricultural exports from the EU, with 12% growth.

In 2012, the EU hit a new record in agricultural trade surplus at €12.6bn, figures show.

After continually recording a negative surplus during the past few years, trade is now just behind the world’s biggest agricultural exporter, the USA.

The EU reached €114bn in sales of agricultural exports, compared with the USA’s €117bn.

An EU report puts the increase in exports down to the growth in demand for EU products driven mainly by developing countries, rather than depression in the EU domestic market.

Depreciation of the euro against major currencies has also helped, the report added.

While the EU remains by far the world’s biggest importer of agricultural goods, static figures showed demand from the EU for agricultural goods was not growing.

“This can be attributed to the general weakness in EU economy,” said the Monitoring Agri-trade Policy report.

“Price declines of certain commodities, such as coffee or cotton, were also a contributing factor to the stagnation in the value of EU imports.”

The USA was the EU’s top buyer, accounting for 13% of EU exports, with China and Saudi Arabia the fastest growing markets.

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To see more of where the UK’s exports go, see our agricultural exports infographic.

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