First-quarter fruit and vegetable shipments to non-European markets fell 27 per cent on the previous year, according to new data published by Fepex

Around 98 per cent of Spain’s fruit and vegetable exports go to European markets, according to export statistics from the Department of Customs and Excise, processed by Fepex.

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Looking at the first quarter (Q1) of 2024, 3.33m tonnes of fresh produce from a total 3.4m tonnes was sent to Europe, with only 69,128 tonnes going to non-European markets - a year-on-year decline of 27 per cent.

During the opening three months, 2.82m tonnes was exported to the EU, up 5 per cent on the same period of 2023.

Of the leading destinations, Spanish exports to Germany totalled 973,363 tonnes (up 9 per cent), to France 543,805 tonnes (down 2 per cent) and to the Netherlands  286,300 tonnes (down 1 per cent).

Fepex said the leading non-EU European market was the UK, which imported 400,403 tonnes (down 1 per cent) in the first quarter.

Looking at the past five years, Fepex noted that Q1 exports outside Europe had dropped from 4 per cent of the total, or 153,800 tonnes, to the current 2 per cent.