Spain is expected to register a 3 per cent increase in the value of fresh fruit and vegetables exports in 2017 on similar volumes to the previous year.
The latest figures released by Fepex peg annual exports for last year at 12.6m tonnes, with a corresponding value of €13bn.
The geographical distribution of sales remains unchanged, with the European Union accounting for 94 per cent of exports, other European countries for 2 per cent and markets outside Europe for the remaining 6 per cent.
In terms of export volumes and prices, there were significant differences in the performance of each product due to adverse weather and variations in demand in different market.
Imports of fresh fruits and vegetables to October 2017 grew by 5.5 per cent in volume and 8.6 per cent in value compared to the same period of 2016, totalling 2.5m tonnes and €2.098bn respectively.
Fepex said the growth in imports reflects a wider trend seen since 2013, due primarily to stronger competition from other producing countries and more diverse consumer tastes coupled with an erosion of seasonal consumption.
However, in spite of the rise in demand for imported fruits and vegetables, consumption fell overall. Consumption totalled 6.555m kg between January and October, a fall of 3.4 per cent on the year-earlier period, while in value terms the fall was of 0.6 per cent to €9.591bn.
Fepex said its main objective in 2018 would be to contribute to the growth of the sector through greater consolidation and diversification of markets, as well as by boosting competitiveness and improving crisis management measures.