While the EU organic market grew overall, imports of organic agri-food products decreased slightly between 2019 and 2020. In terms of product categories, imports of organic tropical fruit and rice increased. However, these increases were outweighed by declines in imports of other cereals, oilcakes and sugar. These are among the main findings of the ‘EU imports of organic agri-food products – key developments in 2020’ market brief published by the European Commission.
In 2020, the EU imported 2.79 million tonnes of organic agri-food products, a decline of 1.9% compared to the 2.85 million tonnes imported in 2019. Commodities (which include cereals, vegetable oils and oilseeds, sugars, milk powders and butter, unroasted coffee and cocoa) represented 48% of 2020 imports in terms of volume and 29% in terms of value. As for other primary products (including meat products, fruit, vegetables, milk yoghurt and honey), they accounted for 42% of imports in terms of volume and 53% in terms of value.
In terms of destinations, the largest volume of organic products still enters the EU through the Netherlands, with 31% of imports. Germany, Belgium and France follow, with respectively 18%, 11% and 10% of organic products imported by those countries into the EU.
The main trading partners regarding imports of organic products in the EU are Ecuador (12%), the Dominican Republic (9%), China (8%) and Ukraine (8%). The ten largest export countries of organic products to the EU represented 64% of organic imports in 2020.
Regarding product categories, by far the biggest category is tropical fruit, nuts and spices representing 30% of volume or 0.84 million tonnes, followed by oilcakes (8% or 0.23 million tonnes), beet and cane sugar (7% or 0.19 million tonnes) and vegetables (5% or 0.15 million tonnes).
More data on EU imports of organic products and key developments compared to 2019 are available in the Market Brief.
- Publication date
- 9 June 2021
- Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development