Staff at an avocado export company. / sur

Exports in Andalucía's agri-food sector reach a new record high, at 5.4 billion euros

With 14.3% growth in the first four months of this year, the sector has become the driving force behind the regional economy in terms of goods sold abroad

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA Seville

The agri-food sector is the star exporter in the Andalusian economy, having broken a new record in the first four months of 2022 with sales of almost 5.5 billion euros, according to Extenda, the Andalusian Export and Foreign Investment agency.

The region’s agri-food industry has also seen a year-on-year growth of 14.3%, the highest of the four biggest exporting regions and well above the national average of 10.7%

The figures highlight the importance of this sector for Andalucía, and it is growing in every province in the region. Exports are also diversifying to different destinations; sales to the African continent have doubled in the past year, especially to Tunisia and Morocco, and there have been major increases in exports to key markets such as the USA, with a rise of 21%, the Philippines (43%) and Japan (15.5%).

Andalucía continues to be the leader in terms of exports of food and drink in general, accounting for 25.2% of the total in Spain, ahead of Catalonia (20.3%) and Valencia (13.7%).

In the first four months of 2022 exports of nine of the top ten agri-food products increased, led by vegetable exports, which accounted for 36% of the total and increased by 15.3% compared with the same period last year.

The next best-seller was fruit, at 24.6%, an increase of 8%, and then olive oil, which continues to be more popular on international markets, with a rise of 12.8%.

Almería remained the top province for agri-food exports in the first four months of the year, accounting for one in every three euros earned by the sector in Andalucía. Seville province is second, Huelva is third, Malaga fourth, and then come Cordoba, Granada, Cadiz and Jaén, in that order.