The monthly value of exports in October stabilized at €11.4 billion, nearly similar to the 2015 level, but not further increasing after the record level in September 2016. The highest increases in monthly export values were recorded in Asian markets: China, €78 million; South Korea, €66 million; Vietnam and Japan at €40 million each.
The export surplus for the 12-months period increased to more than €18 billion.
Japan has surpassed Russia as the fourth most important export destination of E.U. agri-food products after the U.S., China and Switzerland. Negotiations about a bilateral trade agreement are ongoing and would open further opportunities for the E.U. agri-food sector, the commission said.
The 2015 value of E.U. agri-food exports to Japan reached a total of €5.3 billion. The annual value of E.U. exports to Japan had been increasing rapidly until 2012, but since then at a much slower pace.
Monthly export values in October 2016 compared to the previous year went down in particular for wheat and other cereals, raw hides and skins.
In October, agri-food imports to the E.U. went down to a value of €8.8 billion from €9.5 billion a year earlier. The highest increase in monthly import values was from Paraguay and Costa Rica, the highest reduction in imports from Brazil and Argentina.
Analyzing the E.U. export performance over the last 12 months per product category, export values increased in particular for pig meat (32%); meat offal, other meat and fat (21%); fresh vegetables (17%); and olive oil (20%).
In relative terms, high increases in export values were also seen for butter (28%) and oilseeds (27%).
The full report is available here.