BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – The year on year performance of E.U. agri-food exports remains remarkably stable with the September 2017-August 2018 period representing a 0.1% change on the previous 12 months, according to the European Commission’s latest monthly trade report, published on Oct. 26.

This was due to a slight decline during August 2018 with exports dropping to €11.3 billion (a decrease of 2%), with imports also falling slightly to €9.1 billion (a drop of 0.6%).

The highest increases in monthly export values (August 2018 compared to August 2017) were recorded for Algeria (up €31 million), Saudi Arabia (an increase of €30 million) and Singapore (a gain of €27 million). In contrast, exports to China fell by the largest amount (€79 million). There were also drops in exports to both Turkey and Iran, which decreased by €37 million and €34 million respectively.

Exports of cereals other than wheat and rice have experienced a significant rise (of €51 million) with sugar (up €34 million) and pasta and bread (a rise of €32 million) also performing strongly.

Continuing the recent trend, imports from the U.S. have sustained their increase by €186 million when compared to the figure from the previous August. South African and Russian imports also performed strongly, increasing by €57 million and €56 million. Despite this, there were significant decreases in exports from the Ivory Coast (down €109 million), Argentina (minus €64 million) and Paraguay (dropping by €58 million).

By sector, significant increases were recorded in import values of soybeans (up €101 million) and wheat (a gain of €38 million), while imports of other cereals and sugar decreased.