Spanish fresh fruit and vegetable exports grew 8 per cent in volume and 5 per cent in value through the first quarter of the year, coming in at 3.8m tonnes and just over €4bn respectively.
According to the latest data updated by the Department of Customs and Special Taxes, vegetables registered growth of 5 per cent in volume to 2m tonnes and 12 per cent in value to €2.2bn – increases described as "remarkable" by Fepex.
The highest export volumes came in tomatoes and peppers, with sales exceeding 300,000 tons at a value of €397m (+2 per cent) for the former, and €467m (+16 per cent) for the latter.
They are followed by lettuce, with 315,602 tonnes (-4 per cent) with a value of €300m (+18 per cent), cucumber with 268,245 tonnes (+14 per cent) and €241m (+4 per cent) and cabbages with 218,613 tonnes (+19 per cent) and €227m (+27 per cent).
Fruit exports, meanwhile, enjoyed an increase in volume of 10 per cent to 1.8m tonnes, but a drop in value of 2 per cent to €1.85bn – largely down to citrus, Fepex noted.
By region, Andalusia was the main fresh produce exporter through the three-month period, sending 1.4m tonnes (+12 per cent) with a value of just under €2bn.
In terms of importing countries, the EU was the destination for 93 per cent of Spanish exports, taking in 3.5m tonnes (+7 per cent) at a value of €3.75bn (+5 per cent).
Outside the EU, a total of 263,462 tonnes and €287m went to non-EU European countries, with Switzerland and Norway being the leading destinations.
Spain's fresh fruit and vegetable imports through the opening quarter of 2019 grew 9 per cent in volume and 15 per cent in value, totaling 895,144 tonnes and €804m respectively, with potatoes the most imported fresh product.