Final data shows value of exports grew by just 1.6 per cent, less than the 3 per cent originally forecast by Fepex

Spanish exports of fresh fruits and vegetables totalled 12m tonnes in 2022, a contraction of 10.4 per cent on the previous year. According to customs data, the value of exports grew by 1.6 per cent, reaching €15.93bn. This was less than the 3 per cent originally forecast by Fepex.

Costa de Almeria

The decrease in volume was most notable in fruits, with exports dropping 13 per cent to 6.6m tonnes.

In stonefruit, peach exports fell 24 per cent to 262,211 tonnes while nectarines fell 20 per cent to 277,539 tonnes. In berries, strawberry shipments decreased by 12 per cent to 278,137 tonnes and blueberries fell 3 per cent to 86,879 tonnes. Overall, the value of fruit exports decreased by 3 per cent to €8.843bn.

In vegetables, exports contracted by 7 per cent in 2022 to 5.3m tonnes. Peppers fell 7 per cent to 795,669 tonnes, lettuce was down 12 per cent at 714,503 tonnes, tomatoes dropped 5 per cent to 629,269 tonnes and cabbage fell 7 per cent to 500,520 tonnes.

However, the total value of vegetable exports grew by 7 per cent to €7.086bn.

“The steep decline in export volume confirmed in the definitive data for 2022 is due in large part to adverse climate, which caused all kinds of incidents, such as the big fall in stonefruit production in Aragón y Cataluña resulting from the high spring temperatures, or the incessant rains during the months of April and May in Murcia,” Fepex said.

“Added to this was the summer heatwave and very warm start to the winter, which affected production in Andalusia.”

Fepex said the value increase in exports did not compensate for the cost inflation facing the sector. It also called for specific policies to encourage investment into protection against adverse climatic events, which are becoming increasingly common in Spain.

Europe absorbed 96 per cent of exports, with 81 per cent being sold within the European Union. Shipments to non-EU markets grew 4 per cent compared to the previous year.