green wheat field
BRUSSELS, BELGIUM – The value of wheat and cereal exports from the E.U. dropped significantly in April, and are down overall for the 12-month period from May 2016 to April 2017, according to a June 21 report from the European Commission.

Wheat exports for the month dropped 27% to €415 million while cereals were down 28% to €138 million. For the year, wheat exports were down 12% to €4.88 billion while cereals were down 34% to €1.8 billion.

Overall, the monthly value of E.U. agri-food exports in April reached a value of €10.6 billion, which is €424 million, or 3.8% lower, than the same period a year ago. But export values are at a level equal to the four-year average.

For the 12-month period from May 2016 to April 2017, E.U. agri-food exports reached a value of €133.2 billion, corresponding to an increase by 3.4% in value terms compared to the same period one year ago.

Following the decrease in exports and the increase in imports, the net trade balance in April reduced to €860 million.

The highest increases in monthly export values were recorded for Turkey (up €87 million) and Korea (up €86 million). Other gains in E.U. agri-food exports were mainly located in Asia, Philippines, Singapore and Indonesia.

Monthly exports to China dropped in value by €127 million, or 12%. The relative decrease was higher for Morocco although the absolute reduction was only €92 million. Other important reductions were noted in the United States, Egypt and Algeria.

For the year, major gains in annual values were achieved in agri-food exports to the United States and China, and further increases were recorded to Japan and Korea. Exports to Vietnam, Russia (for non-banned products), Switzerland and Israel each increased by more than €200 million in the 12-month period.

Annual export values went down for North African and Middle East destinations, such as Egypt, Algeria and Saudi Arabia.

For imports, monthly values increased €104 million, or 1.1%, in April compared to the year before. Imports from Australia and the Ukraine increased most, while imports from Ivory Coast and Brazil went down the most.

Major increases were seen in oilcakes (up 32%), oilseed (up 48%) and palm oil (up 11%).

Agri-food imports from third countries in the 12-month period accounted for over €114 billion, an increase of 1% compared to the same period one year ago.

Main origins for E.U. agri-food imports over the past 12 months were Brazil, the United States, Argentina and China, followed by Switzerland, Indonesia, Turkey and Ukraine.

On the year-on-year basis, the value of agri-food imports from the top four importers declined.

Imports from the United States decreased by €638 million, or 5%, and from Brazil by €561 million, or 5%. For Argentina the decrease is smaller at 1%. Also other partners such as Turkey, Tunisia, New Zealand and Malaysia lost market share.

On the other hand, Indonesia increased most by €398 million, or 9%. Over the 12-month period, E.U. import values for agri-food products also went up for Vietnam and Nigeria.

Imports of oilseeds other than soybean increased by €446 million, or 13%.