According to data from Eurostat, Morocco and Egypt continue to gain weight as the main non-EU vegetable supplier countries for the EU, with a respective 13% and 10% growth in volume in the first half of 2016 over the same period of 2015, totalling 482,571 tons and 250,559 tons.
EU imports of vegetables from Morocco accounted for 31% of the EU's total imports from third countries in the first half of 2016. Imports from Egypt accounted for 15% of the total.
EU vegetable imports from Morocco amounted to 591.6 million euro (+10%), and accounted for 36% of the total value of EU imports from third countries, which amounted to 1,602 million euro. EU imports from Egypt amounted to 155.5 million euro.
The tomato is the flagship Moroccan vegetable import with 247,152 tons, that is 8% more than in the first half of 2015 and 249.6 million euro (+7%) more. Leguminous vegetable imports also stood out, as green bean imports increased by 8% in volume and 92,615 tons.
The main vegetables imported from Egypt in the period analyzed were potatoes with 157,459 tons (+4%) and onions, with 72,378 tons (+31%). Turkey follows Morocco and Egypt and it is the third largest supplier of fresh vegetables in the EU with 237,918 tons, (+3%) with a sharp increase in potatoes (+26%), which totaled 173,543 tons.
The positive trend of vegetable purchases to Morocco and Egypt is part of a global increase in purchases to non-EU countries, which grew by 23% in volume and 11% in value in the first half of 2016 when compared with the same period of 2015, amounting to 1.55 million tons and 1,602 million euro.
According to FEPEX, the strong growth of EU vegetable imports from third countries has a direct impact on intra-Community Member States vegetable trade, which decreased in the same period by 1%.