Exports of fruit and vegetables down in 2017, Incofruit Hellas says

Exports of Greek fruit and vegetables fell 3.7 pct in value and 12.6 pct in volume in 2017, compared with the previous year, although exports remained on an upward trend in the last five years, Incofruit-Hellas said on Monday.

In an analysis of data released by Hellenic Statistical Authority, Incofruit-Hellas said that exports of fresh fruit and vegetables fell 12.6 pct in volume last year compared with 2016 totaling 1,471,302 tons, while in value exports fell 3.7 pct to 1,012,526 euros. Incofruit said this decline was expected after a surge in exports recorded in 2016. On a global level, fruit production is rising by 2.0 pct annually on average, while trade of fruit rises by 7.0 pct annually. In 2017, exports of fruit fell 4.2 pct in value and 14.3 pct in volume, while exports of vegetables eased 1.2 pct in value and eased 0.4 pct in volume. Among fruit, oranges fell 41.8 pct, tangerines fell 30.2 pct, but apricots, cherries and peaches grew 12.4 pct to five-year records, strawberries rose 12.2 pct and fresh grape rose 16.6 pct to new 10-year records. Among vegetables, potatoes grew 43.2 pct in 2017.

Greece managed to raise production in fruit and vegetables to around 7.5-8.0 million tons and to significant boost exports in the last decade, from 1,027,568 tons worth 718,847 million euros in 2017 to 1,683,745 tons worth 1,051,520,597 euros. In 2016 and to 1,472,302 tons worth 1,012,525,722 euros in 2017 (up 11.3 pct in volume and 15.5 pct in value compared with 2015).

Incofruit expects the value of fresh fruit to grow faster compared with production volumes in the EU market in the coming years and noted that an embargo on Russian markets have not discouraged Greek exporters who have increased sales in the EU and third countries.

Incofruit also said that imports of vegetables grew 15.6 pct in volume and 10.6 pct in value in 2017, while imports of fruits rose 17.5 pct in volume and 8.1 pct in value.