The main EU Member States continue to import more and more fruit and vegetables from non-EU countries. According to Eurostat data, in the first half of 2021 alone, Community imports of fresh fruit and vegetables from third countries amounted to 11.4 million tons and 11,785 million euro, i.e. 3% more volume and 2% more value than in the same period of 2020 and reflecting an 18% growth in volume and a 23% increase in value over the last five years.
The Netherlands is the Member State that imports the most fruit and vegetables from outside the Community. In the first half of 2021, it acquired 3.7 million tons from non-EU countries, which accounted for 32% of its total imports, and was 7% higher than in the same period of 2020 and 24% higher than in the last five years.
Traditionally, Belgium and France were the second and third biggest importers of non-EU fruits and vegetables in the EU, but in the first half of 2021, Spain surpassed them and ranked second, with 1.2 million tons imported, 11% more than in 2020, which shows, according to FEPEX, the strong presence that the fruit and vegetable productions of non-EU countries are having in the Spanish market. In the last five years, Spain has imported 28% more fruit and vegetables from outside the EU.
In the first half of 2021, Belgium purchased a total of 1.1 million tons of non-EU fruits and vegetables, i.e. 6% more than in the same period of 2020. In that same period, France increased its imports by 10% to a total of 1.1 million tons (+13% compared to the last five years). Germany also stood out with one million tons, i.e. 1% less than in the first half of 2020, but 7% more than in the last five years.