The Spanish region of Murcia exported 2.519m tonnes of fruits and vegetables in 2017/18, a 2.6 per cent increase on the previous campaign, according to grower-exporter association Proexport. Exports totalled €2.471bn in value versus €2.450bn in 2016/17.
Proexport director Fernando Gómez said the results reflected the sector’s dynamism and had been achieved in spite of strong competition, reduced yields and the ongoing Russian veto.
Germany was the biggest market, taking 634,380 tonnes equivalent to a 26.3 per cent share of the total. The UK and France were in second and third place, taking 20 per cent and 16.6 per cent of exports respectively.
Lettuce, Murcia’s most valuable vegetable export, registered a 7.9 per cent increase in export volume, while brassica exports grew 7.3 per cent. Tomatoes also saw a strong recovery, climbing 11.6 per cent in volume to 96,696 tonnes.
However, pepper exports declined by 4.3 per cent in volume and 0.5 per cent in value last season.
In fruit, lemon led Murcia’s export charge, but saw an 8.2 per cent fall in exports due to the smaller crop. Melon and watermelon exports also fell by 8.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent respectively.
Despite registering an 11.3 per cent fall in volume, the value of table grapes was similar to 2016/17.
Gómez said the sector could be proud of its achievements over the past decade, during which exports have grown by 37.5 per cent.