Morocco and Egypt continue to consolidate their position as the main non-EU suppliers of vegetables to the European Union, with shipments rising by 13 per cent and 10 per cent respectively in the first six months of 2016.
Figures from Eurostat show that the EU imported 482,571 tonnes of Moroccan vegetables and 250,559 tonnes of Egyptian vegetables during that period. Turkey was in third place with exports totalling 237,918 tonnes.
Morocco now accounts for almost a third of all EU vegetable imports, with tomatoes making up around half of the total. The kingdom shipped 247,152 tonnes of tomatoes to Europe in the first six months of 2016, an 8 per cent increase on the year-earlier period. Exports of green beans also rose by 8 per cent to 92,615 tonnes.
The main Egyptian vegetables shipped to the EU were potatoes with 157,459 tonnes – a 3 per cent rise on 2015. Onion exports during the six-month period grew by 31 per cent to 72,378 tonnes.
Spanish exporter federation Fepex said the rise in imports from third countries had a direct impact on intra-EU trade, which fell by 1 per cent during the same period.