According to data published by Portugal Fresh (Association for the Promotion of Fruits, Vegetables and Flowers), Portuguese fresh produce exports climbed 10% during the first three months of 2020 to €398 million. However, these figures disguise a mixed picture. While fruit exports were up 18.3% to €165 million, vegetable exports slipped 1.1% to €82 million. Meanwhile, shipments abroad of processed fruit and vegetables climbed 6.3% to €114 million. The European Union is the main market for Portugal’s fresh produce, absorbing 77% of total exports.
Gonçalo Santos Andrade, president of Portugal Fresh, said: “This sector registered very interesting growth in January and February, of 34.5% and 10.6%, respectively, compared to the same months of 2019. But the month of March saw a decrease of 2.3% as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were felt during the last two weeks of the month- At this point, there was an abrupt interruption in orders from very important markets such as Spain (31%), the United Kingdom, France and Germany.”
In the last ten years, Portuguese exports of fruit, vegetables and flowers have more than doubled, from €780 million in 2010 to €1.6 billion euros in 2019. While ten years ago, exports accounted for 35% of total revenues, they now represent 52%. The sector will now be looking to maintain this momentum as disruptions to supply chain ease off over the coming months.
Photo: Economía de Hoy