EU agri-food trade reached a total value of €34 billion in June 2022, a decrease of 2.6% month-to-month and an increase of 24% compared to June of last year. Exports grew marginally to €19.5 billion (+1% month-to-month), while imports were valued at €14.5 billion, 7% lower than May. Compared to June 2021, these figures reflect an increase of 19.5% in the value of exports and 31% of imports.
The agri-food trade surplus grew substantially and stood at €5.1 billion, a 33% increase compared to the previous month. These findings were published today in the European Commission’s monthly agri-food trade report, which features a special focus on trade flows between the EU and Ukraine.
Developments in June
While commodity prices remained extremely high in June, they declined slightly compared to May. This was particularly the case for cereals, dairy products and oilseeds, for which export quantities grew but prices went down. Exports to sub-Saharan Africa grew significantly month-to-month (+121%), a development not only driven by export prices but also by volumes, particularly of wheat.
Exports to Ukraine increased by 25% compared to June of last year, reaching €275 million. This was largely due to exports of vegetables and pigmeat, for which export volumes grew by 557% and 112% year-on-year.
Imports from Brazil, the United States and Indonesia fell month-to-month. The most notable decrease was in imports from Brazil, which fell by 21%. This was primarily due to a reduction in volumes. Imports of cereals from Brazil fell by 60% and of oilseeds fell by 31%, reflecting a decline in import values of €58 million and €390 million respectively.
Following the implementation of solidarity lanes and the temporary trade liberalisation, imports from Ukraine increased in June. Notable increases were seen in imports of oilseeds (+92 million) and oils (+€90 million). Imports of poultry and cereals also grew, by €17 million and €11 million respectively.
Exports increased the most to the UK, US and Morocco in the first six months of the year. Exports to Morocco increased by 57% (+€728 million), while exports to the entire Middle East and North Africa region also increased substantially. This was largely driven by increases in export quantities of cereals, sunflower seeds, fruit and nuts, and vegetables.
Exports to the UK grew by 19% in the January-June period, largely due to cereal preparations, which grew by €478 million or 23%. This increase was caused by an increase in volume as well as unit price. Meanwhile, exports to China remain low, decreasing by 27% compared to the first six months of last year.
Regarding imports, the EU has imported €82 billion worth of agri-food products in the January-June period, an increase of 32% compared to 2021. The most notable growth has been in imports from Brazil, which have grown by 46%. This is not only due to increased commodity prices but also increased import volumes. This is particularly the case for imports of maize, soya meals and raw sugar, which grew by 605,000 tonnes, 390,000 tonnes and 101,000 tonnes respectively.
There was also significant growth in imports from South-East Asia, particularly Indonesia, Vietnam and Malaysia. Imports from these three countries increased by 35% or €1.6 billion compared to the same period last year. This is mainly caused by organic chemicals and coffee.
Specific product categories
June 2022 saw growth in export volumes of EU agri-food products. Cereals grew by 16% month-to-month and 74% year-on-year; wheat by 7% and 137%; and oilseeds and protein crops by 13% and 49%. This was not the case for rapeseed and soya beans, for which export quantities fell while prices continued to rise.
Looking at animal products, there were increases in exports of beef and veal, dairy, and sheep and goat, while poultry exports declined slightly. With the exception of sheep and goat, the unit export value for all animal products fell compared to May.
The most substantial month-to-month decreases in import values were seen in cereals and oilseeds, which fell by €304 million and €442 million respectively. Fruit and vegetable imports also reduced substantially, by €206 million. This was due to a reduction in import quantities.
More insights as well as detailed tables are available below in the latest edition of the monthly EU agri-food trade report.
- Publication date
- 3 October 2022
- Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development