New data from the Spanish Department of Customs and Excise has revealed that the country's fresh fruit and vegetable imports and exports both climbed through the opening nine months of the year.
The statistics, processed by Fepex, showed year-on-year growth of 2.5 per cent for fresh produce exports to 9.6m tonnes, and 6.3 per cent for imports to 2.6m tonnes.
In terms of value, exports grew 5.6 per cent and imports 4 per cent, Fepex outlined.
Vegetable exports reached 4m tonnes, an increase of 2 per cent on the same period of 2020, at a value of €4.6bn, up 6.3 per cent.
Lettuce, cabbage and peppers enjoyed volume and value growth through the January-September period, Fepex noted, while tomato volumes fell but value climbed.
Fruit exports in the first nine months of the year grew by 3 per cent to 5.5m tonnes, worth €6.76bn (up 5 per cent).
Oranges were the most exported product with more than 1m tonnes shipped, followed by watermelon, which experienced growth in volume of 11 per cent to 919,438 tonnes.
After these, the most exported fruits were mandarins, lemons, nectarines, peaches and strawberries.
On the import side, the volume of fruit coming into Spain jumped 9 per cent at 1.5m tonnes, for a value of €1.78bn, up 6.7 per cent.
Fepex highlighted the strong growth of the avocado category, with 29 per cent more both in volume and value, totalling 168,498 tonnes and €322m respectively.
Apple purchases also grew, by 11 per cent in volume and value to 139,444 tonnes and €123m.
Vegetables imports also climbed in the period from January to September 2021, up to 1m tonnes (up 2 per cent), although value decreased by 3 per cent to €619m.
This was driven in part by the potato category, which remained stable in volume at 599,809 tonnes (up 1 per cent) but fell 17 per cent in value to €153.5m.