Tag Archives: trade

Dutch ag. exports reach record high

According to the latest statistics from Statistics Netherlands (CBS) and Wageningen Economic Research, Dutch exports of agricultural goods reached a record level of €91.7 billion in 2017, exceeding the previous record in 2016 by more than 7 per cent.

Dutch agricultural imports and the nation’s agricultural surplus also reached record heights, as imports of agricultural goods increased by 9 per cent to €62.6 billion, while the agricultural surplus went up by almost 4 per cent to €29.1 billion.

The horticultural sector led the way, with horticulture including cut flowers, bulbs, plants and nursery products worth €9.1 billion. This was followed by dairy products (€8.9 billion), meat (€8.3 billion) and vegetables (€6.7 billion). The same ranking holds true if only domestically produced items are counted.  According to the CBS, ‘fruit ranks fifth on the list of top agricultural export goods, although this is largely re-exports of foreign produce.’

Germany is the top destination for Dutch agricultural exports, with €23.4 billion in agricultural goods crossing the Dutch border, equivalent to over 25 percent of total agricultural exports.

Germany was followed by Belgium (€10.4 billion), the UK (€8.6 billion) and France (€8.0 billion) as the largest buyers of agricultural products from the Netherlands.

Photo Caption: Horticulture topped Dutch exports, with vegetables and fruit in fourth and fifth place.

Photo Credit: Statistics Netherlands (CBS)

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European produce industry publishes Brexit report

The European Fresh Produce Association, Freshfel, has published a position paper on the Impact of Brexit on the European fruit and vegetable industry.

It points out that the EU is a significant net exporter to the UK, with a trade flow of 3.1 million tonnes, worth €4 billion a year, with a high dependence of the UK on fresh produce supply from EU mainland. It also quotes recent research by Rabobank which suggests that, after animal protein, fresh produce will be the agricultural sector most affected by Brexit, a situation which will compound the recent loss of the €2 million tonne a year Russian market.

The top ten products supplied from Europe include tomatoes, onions, sweet peppers, cucumber, cauliflower, apples, pears, soft citrus, oranges and bananas, with the five largest suppliers being Spain, the Netherlands, France, Germany and Ireland. In contrasts, last year the UK exported just 310,000 tonnes of fresh produce, most of which went to Ireland, which is heavily depend on UK supply.

As with other industries, Freshfel also pointed to the effects of uncertainty, saying: ‘While acknowledging, that there might be a certain tariff & quota regime in place after the divorce, it is essential to define the new tariff regime at the earliest, to give operators calculation certainty after the 29th of March 2019 and to take potential cost increase into account.’

The full report can be found at http://freshfel.org/freshfel-position-paper-on-the-impact-of-brexit-on-the-eu-fruit-and-vegetable-industry/

Photo Credit: Freshfel

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Industry calls for trade agreement with Ireland

A group of leading representatives of the food and drink industries have written an open letter to the Government calling for an early agreement on future trade between the UK and Ireland.

Signatories to the letter included the Food & Drink Federation, Agricultural Industries Confederation, Fresh Produce Consortium, National Farmers Union and the Ulster Farmers Union. They point out that not only do the two countries share their only land border, but that the Republic of Ireland, ‘Buys more from us than the United States, China, Russia, Brazil, Canada and Japan combined. Nearly a fifth of UK food and drink exports go to Ireland, with more than a third of Ireland’s reaching UK shores.’ There is also a significant trade in raw materials between the two countries.

The authors of the letter represent the UK’s agri-food and drink sector which employs 4 million people, or 13.5 per cent of the UK workforce. They warn that, “A cliff-edge scenario that results in a sudden transformation to our trading arrangements with Ireland would be hugely damaging for our industry and for the wider economy on both sides of the border.”

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