EU trade in agricultural goods reached EUR 347 billion in 2021

In 2021, the value of trade (imports plus exports) of agricultural goods between the EU and the rest of the world hit EUR 347.0 billion, EUR 20.7 billion more than in 2020. The EU exported EUR 196.9 billion worth of agricultural products and imported EUR 150.0 billion, generating a surplus of EUR 46.9 billion.

Between 2002 and 2021, EU trade in agricultural products more than doubled, equivalent to average annual growth of almost 4.8 %. In this period, exports (5.4 %) grew faster than imports (4.2 %).

UK and Brazil: biggest export and import partners

In terms of main trade partners, when it comes to exports, the United Kingdom was the main partner with a 21 % share of extra-EU exports of agricultural goods (equivalent to EUR 42.1 billion), followed by the United States (12 %; ER 24.4 billion), China (8 %; EUR 16.5 billion), Switzerland (5%; EUR 10.1 billion), Japan (4 %; EUR 7.3 billion) and Russia (4 %; EUR 7.1 billion; mainly vegetable products and foodstuffs).

Extra-EU imports originated mostly from Brazil (9 %; EUR 13.4 billion), the United Kingdom (9 %; EUR 13.0 billion), the United States (6 %; EUR 9.3 billion), Norway (5%; EUR 7.3 billion), China (5 %; EUR 6.9 billion) and Ukraine (5 %; EUR 6.9 billion; mainly vegetables and oils and fats).

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Methodological note: 

  • The animal products category consists of live animals, meat, fish, crustaceans and aquatic invertebrates, dairy produce, eggs, honey, and other products of animal origin.
  • Vegetable products include trees, plants, vegetables, fruit, coffee, cereals, seeds and oil.
  • Foodstuffs consist of various types of processed goods deriving from vegetable and animal products such as sugar, beverages, tobacco and prepared animal fodder.
  • The United Kingdom is considered as an extra-EU partner country for the EU for the whole period covered by this article. However, the United Kingdom was still part of the internal market until the end of the transitory period (December 31, 2020), meaning that data on trade with the United Kingdom is still based on statistical concepts applicable to trade between the EU Member States. Consequently, while imports from any other extra-EU trade partner are grouped by country of origin, the United Kingdom data reflect the country of consignment. In practice, this means that the goods imported by the EU from the United Kingdom were physically transported from the United Kingdom but part of these goods could have been of another origin than the United Kingdom. For this reason, data on trade with the United Kingdom are not fully comparable with data on trade with other extra-EU trade partners.

www.ec.europa.eu/eurostat/