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Agriculture and rural development
News article26 February 2024BrusselsDirectorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development2 min read

Positive EU agri-food trade balance confirms competitiveness of EU exports

EU agri-food trade

After reaching its highest level over the last three years in October 2023, the EU agri-food trade surplus continued to further grow in November 2023. It reached €6.9 billion, +3% higher than the previous month and +27% higher compared to November 2022. The cumulative trade balance from January to November 2023 reached €64.8 billion. This is €12 billion higher compared to the same period in 2022. These are the main findings of the latest monthly agri-food trade report published today by the European Commission.


In November 2023, EU agri-food exports reached €20 billion. Cumulative exports since January reached €210.8 billion, with main increases for processed products, including cereal preparations and preparations of fruit and nuts.

In terms of exported products, cereal preparations and milling product exports increased by +7% compared to 2022 (+€1.4 billion), followed by fruit and vegetable preparations (+14%, +€1.3 billion) and confectionary and chocolate (+12%, +€1.1 billion). However, some sectors experienced decrease. For example, the value of cereal exports decreased by -14%. This is explained by reduced export prices whiles volumes exported actually increased by 7%.

EU exports to the United Kingdom increased by +8% from January to November 2023, primarily due to higher prices for cereal preparations, fruit and nuts, confectionery, chocolate, and pigmeat. The United States saw a decrease of -7% due to reduced spirits and liqueurs exports. China was the third destination, despite a -5% decrease due to lower pigmeat exports. Exports to Türkiye (+21%, +€781 million) and Ukraine (+19%, +€494 million) also saw significant growth.

The top three destinations for EU agri-food exports between January and November 2023 remained the United Kingdom, the United States, and China.


In November 2023, EU agri-food imports reached €13.1 billion, -16% below November 2022 levels. Cumulative imports from January to November 2023 were €146.1 billion, -7% below 2022 levels.

In term of imported products, the largest increases in cumulative import value were for tobacco products, sugar and isoglucose, vegetables, and olives and olive oil. However, significant reductions were observed for oilseeds, protein crops, vegetable oils, non-edible products, coffee, tea, cocoa, spices, and margarine and other oils and fats due to price and volume reductions.

Between January and November 2023, Brazil accounted for 11% of EU imports, but imports decreased by -13% due to reduced volumes of soya beans, coffee, and maize. The United Kingdom was the second source, with a slight increase of +€290 million. Ukraine was the third, but cumulative imports decreased by -6% compared to the same period in 2022. Imports from Türkiye and Egypt had the largest increases in cereals, fruit, nuts, vegetables, olives, and olive oil.

More insights as well as detailed tables are available below in the latest edition of the monthly EU agri-food trade report.

27 FEBRUARY 2024
Monitoring EU agri-food trade: developments in November 2023


Publication date
26 February 2024
Directorate-General for Agriculture and Rural Development