Vine harvesting by farm labourers. / SUR

Andalucía hits a new record for fruit and vegetable exports, growing 11.6 per cent

The region is now the national leader in foreign sales, accounting for nearly half of the Spanish turnover

JOSÉ LUIS PIEDRA

The fruit and vegetable export sector in Andalucía has reached a new record in the first six months of the year with 4.3 billion euros in foreign sales, its highest ever in a half-year period since statistics were first recorded in 1995.

Sales to foreign markets of Andalusian fruits and vegetables grew by 11.6 per cent from January to June compared to the same period of 2021, when a record was also posted.

Andalucía now accounts for almost half (46 per cent) of national exports, which reached 9.699 billion euros, well ahead of Valencia (23.1 per cent) and Murcia (17.5 per cent).

Almeria, between January and June 2022, accounted for 51 per cent of total Andalusian exports, with a new all-time record to reach 2,239 million euros, which also represented 23 per cent of the national total. It is followed by the province of Huelva, with 1,213 million euros in foreign sales, which is an increase of 10.7 per cent for figures from the first half of 2021.

As for the main destination markets, European countries are still the most important, but there is a marked growth towards diversification. Canada, the fastest growing market of the Top 20, saw turnover from the previous year, more than double to a value of 18 million euros.

By product, strawberries led sales in the first half of the year, with 578 million euros in foreign sales, 13.1 per cent of the total. They are followed by sweet peppers, with 574 million (13 per cent), and, in third place, tomatoes, with 527 million (11.9 per cent).