Cabbages, broccoli and onions: Europe the export leader

Mon 17/10/2016 by Richard Wilkinson
Cauliflowers and broccoli are traded for the same value and slightly more volume; onions are seeing a true export boom.

The European balance trade in cauliflower and broccoli rose quite a lot in terms of volume (+2.6% on average between imports and exports), but the traded value remained the same between 2013 and 2015.

The total amount of imports reached €489.16 billion for a total of 54,333 tons in 2015, while exports represented almost 33% more trade in both value and volume (70,342 tons for €601.6 billion).

The main European exporting countries within the EU are Spain (€238,325,417 in 2015) and France (€80,723,418). Cauliflowers and broccoli imported from the US saw an incredible drop from €2 million to almost none.

Cabbages recover value

The cabbage category suffered a much bigger downfall in terms of value than cauliflowers and broccoli in 2014. Although the balance of trade rose by 2%, the value of imports fell by 8% and exports went down by 4% in value.

In 2015, the value came back to its previous level and even went higher to a total of €950.45 billion for imports (+4% compared to 2013) and €1.1 billion for exports (+2.5% compared to 2013).

The main import partners are Spain (€360.7 billion), Germany (€211.7 billion), the Netherlands (€155.4 billion), Italy (€96.2 billion) and France (€91.9 billion).


Onions: European export boom

Onion exports recorded a sharp fall in 2013 from €788.55billion to €723.8 billion (-9%). It finally went up last year to €798.94 billion thanks to more acreage and production.

Exports remained difficult in 2015 due to the Russian ban and weak euro, but the currency is no longer a problem.


Intra-EU imports kept on falling over the last year. In 2014, they totalled 15,673 tons.

Worldwide consumption is rising, with prices being put under pressure and the onion trade suffering from a lack of supply.

This article was first published in edition 145 (Sep-Oct 2016) of Eurofresh Distribution magazine on page 102. Read more fresh produce news from that issue at:

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