The latest EU agri-food trade figures published May 3, 2022, show that the total value of EU agri-food trade reached a value of EUR 28.3 billion in January 2022, a 25 % increase compared to the same period last year. Exports reached EUR 15.8 billion, while imports were valued at EUR 12.5 billion, representing increases of 16 % and 38 % respectively. January saw a continuation of the trend of lower exports and higher imports of agri-food products, which began in autumn 2021. The largest increases in exports were seen to the United Kingdom and the United States, who along with China, account for 40 % of all EU agri-food exports.
The main sources of agri-food imports in January 2022 were the United States and Brazil, followed by the UK and Ukraine. These four countries account for 35 % of all agri-food imports to the EU. The largest increase was seen in imports from the UK, which grew by 137 % to reach a value of over EUR 1 billion, with particularly strong growth in imports of wine and wine-based products, as well as poultry and eggs. This significant increase is explained by the fact that trade flows in January 2021 were very low following the borders controls that were put in place in the context of the UK’s exit from the EU and its single market. However, trade with the UK has not recovered to pre-pandemic levels. Prior to the Russian invasion, imports from Ukraine had grown by 88 % year on year in January 2022 to reach a value of EUR 1 billion. This was mainly driven by imports of cereals, which grew by EUR 258 million (136 %). Elsewhere, imports from the United States grew by 16 %, while imports from China increased by 67 %.
Looking at specific products, the EU’s top three export categories were cereal preparations and milling products, dairy products and wine and wine-based products. These represented one quarter of all agri-food exports. In January 2022, these sectors increased their export values by EUR 203 million, EUR 219 million and EUR 227 million respectively. Exports of cereals also grew strongly, by EUR 210 million or 24 %. While pig meat remains the fourth strongest export sector, the value of pig meat exports decreased by EUR 233 million (-16 %) compared to January of last year.
Regarding imports, the value of oilseed and protein crop imports stood at over EUR 1.7 billion in January 2022. These products accounted for 14 % of all agri-food imports in 2021. More information on the latest EU agri-food trade figures is available here and on EU agri-food trade in general here.