European Union imports of fruit and vegetables from non-EU countries reached 15.5 million metric tons (MT) in 2017, representing an increase of 5%.
Spain’s Federation of Fruit, Vegetable, Flower and Live Plant Grower Exporter Associations reported 13.3 million MT of the imports was fruit and 2.2 million MT was vegetables. Bananas, oranges and pineapples were the most heavily imported fruits into the EU. Bananas saw a growth of 7% compared with 2016, while orange imports grew 11% to 1.05 million MT. Pineapple imports also increased by 11%, with 941,802 MT imported.
Other fruits that registered a rise in imports include apples (+1%) with 448,304 MT and avocados with 486,055 MT (+9%) imported.
Over a quarter of all vegetable imports were tomatoes (568,069 MT), with an increase of 8%. Over the last five years Morocco has been the main exporter of tomatoes with 71% of the supply.
Potato imports reached figures of 430,492 MT, an increase of 14% compared to 2016, while onion imports grew by 8% to 243,109 MT.
This shows that the vegetable import market is in concentrated on specific products, notably tomatoes and potatoes, while fruit imported into the EU has a wider spectrum.