November 6, 2018
EU agri-food trade surplus reduced in August; wheat, milk powder exports down
The latest monthly EU agri-food trade report published in late October showed that exports in August decreased for wheat and milk powder, even as imports of soya beans for that month soared in value terms.
The value of EU agri-food trade in the month of August 2018 had moderate declines to €11.3 billion in exports and €9.1 billion in imports. Monthly import value decreased slightly, by 0.6% compared to August 2017, while the value of exports registered a 2% dip versus August 2017. Thus the monthly agri-food trade surplus was reduced to €2.2 billion, a 7% decrease from August 2017.
Sectors that showed the highest export growth were cereals other than wheat and rice (+€51 million), among others, while notable falls in exports were recorded for milk powder (-€78 million) and wheat (-€47 million).
Imports of soya beans increased significantly (+€101 million), while wheat rose by €38 million. On the other hand, imports of other cereals decreased by €104 million.
The US remained one of the most important sources for EU agri-food imports, with notably significant increase in imports of US soybeans in the month of August 2018, the report said.
Export value covering the 12-month period of September 2017 to August 2018 reached €136.6 billion (US$155.56 billion), a slight increase of 0.1% compared with the same period a year before.
Wheat exports experienced the most significant drop in value terms on an annual basis (-€478 million; -11%). Other categories with notable losses in export values over the last 12 months were milk powder (-€414 million; -10%) and pork meat (-€392; -8%), among others.
Agri-food imports from third countries in the 12-month period September 2017 to August 2018 accounted for €114.6 billion, or a decrease of 2.6% compared with the previous year. Driven by the stronger export performance over the 12-month period, the export surplus was €22 billion (+€3.2 billion; +17%).